Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The flying car

Did you see the news item about a flying car, revealed by Kitty Hawk, a Silicon Valley startup funded by Google's founder, Larry Page ? If you didn't , watch the video below


I now petition Kitty Hawk that the best place in the world to launch it first would be in Bangalore. Everybody knows that a basic version of this already exists in the wonderful city's roads , for after all, a two wheeler can come from all 360 degrees to dent your car even  today. But passing over that lightly, let's examine how and why this would be a major hit in Bangalore

Everybody who works in the world famous Ecospace building would buy it immediately. Ecospace is the world's first building where traffic jams are inside the building area and not outside. Average mean time currently for exiting from parking and coming to the gate is 45 mts. With a flying car, the coder will simply jump out of his office window in it and zoom away.  Similarly coders in cubby holes in every other monstrosity - Maanyata, ITPL, Bagmane in that order - are enough to ensure that Kitty Hawk's order book for the next 10 years is filled up.

Two wheeler riders of Bangalore migrating to the flying car are likely to be confused initially as they are genetically programmed only to ride on the pavement or ride on the wrong side of the road. They will need some significant retraining to take to this new vehicle. Two wheeler riders are also currently used to taking the wife and both kids along with them. It is unclear from the prototype of the flying car as to where the two kids can be placed. Perhaps they can be made to hang from the wings. There is no safety worry -  in Bangalore, even babies are trained from birth on how to hang on while on a two wheeler

The world famous cab drivers of Bangalore will be the world's best drivers on this car, as they have considerable practice in ducking and weaving and zooming. So the maneuvers required of a flying car come to them naturally. They will also be doing a massive public service. As they are used to constant honking, they will take this practice to the air and thereby drive off all the pigeons who currently infest every apartment building.

One of the greatest features of this car appears to be that it can instantly stop and hover in a particular spot. This will be very useful to BMTC drivers who like to stop in the middle of the road in an instant, if the fancy hits them.

There is one problem however. In Bangalore, every type of a cable - be it electricity, TV or internet cable dangles about 2 mtrs above every public space. Kitty Hawk will have to design the car such that it can take off and land passing through the 1 nanometer space available between the cables. In this they will be greatly aided by the dodging powers of the legendary cab driver of Bangalore.

We have one of the most proactive governments in the world in Bangalore. They will instantly build KR Puram, Silk Board and Graphite junctions in the air so that Bangaloreans on flying cars would not be deprived of the unique experiences to be had at the aforementioned places.  They will also ensure that enough airpockets are released into the atmosphere so that Bangaloreans will not get sick from a smooth ride - their bodies having being conditioned to the soothing effects of pot holes.

Another design suggestion for Kitty Hawk would be to provide a glass panel whereby owners can paint or affix stickers saying Bhuvaneswari , Parthiban and Rajasekhar (please note that these will be written in Kannada and therefore will require some additional lateral space)

Drivers will have to adjust their perception of tree branches. Today, the sight of a tree branch on the road means a vehicle has broken down and a twig and some leaves have been lodged in a crack to warn others of this fact. From the flying car, a branch and leaves may be safely taken to be on a living tree.

I am not sure of the impact these cars will have on the traffic cops of Bangalore. Perhaps they can climb trees and tow away the flying cars that have been parked on every branch - the ex two wheeler driver being an expert at parking his vehicle on any vacant area in any terrain.

What I am not clear is  how two drivers who have banged each other will fight. Current practice, which is almost a holy covenant is that you stop right there, get out and hurl the choicest abuse on the other guy.  You cannot move even 1 mtr from the spot (ie move to the side of the road) before fighting).  How this will be done mid air in the future scenario requires deep thought.

All in all, Kitty Hawk must simply relocate to Bangalore and start here. In any case the CEO is probably Arvindkatakshan Ramasubramaniam, who originally went from here. Welcome home, Sir !

10 comments:

  1. Hey, I will email you an essay that I authored back in 1993--publication date is Nov/Dec 1993.

    It was a recession, and the Southern California aerospace industry was in deep shit. I wrote about the awesome opportunity to score a trifecta: tap into that high-tech talent, address the transportation problems, through a public-private collaboration on developing "personal aircars." Yep, flying cars.

    Yes, that was 24 years ago. As is always my story, I don't get no respect and nobody listened to me ;)

    I concluded that essay with the following lines:
    "Without such forward-looking moves to the future, Southern Californians in the year 2010 will have no alternative other than to drive to work at 7 o'clock in the morning at average speeds of 15 miles per hour."

    Read that email ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I will; but this post was simply for a hoot. Not for a serious response !

      Go smoke some weed :):)

      Delete
  2. Haha! If Kitty Hawk can work in Bangalore it will work anywhere in the world. But you may be underestimating the commuter. There could be crazy traffic jams in the air as well. The words 'Trouble in paradise' may have whole a new meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No question. My line about KR Puram, Silk Board etc in the air was only half in jest. It absolutely will happen.

      Delete
  3. Anne in Salem27/4/17

    Sounds thrilling! Sign me up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. You'll have to move from the great state of Oregon to the madness of Bangalore though !

      Delete
  4. Anonymous4/5/17

    ROLF. can't wait to see it happen in Bangalore.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Flying car is really amazing idea to avoid traffic in metro city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Long way to go before it becomes a reality.

      Delete

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