Flying Cars: Separating Hype From Real Potential

"“There’s been discussion of VTOL systems which in many ways are simply helicopters, and as Uber describes it in the initial deployments there will be a pilot in the aircraft,” said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina and an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society who teaches classes on the legal issues facing autonomous vehicles. “Pilots for passenger aircraft for some of the regional carriers probably don’t make much more than an Uber driver, so the economics in terms of labor might be there for a piloted aircraft.

“The other realm has been the extension of unmanned aerial vehicles into longer development that could at one point produce a version that could carry a non-pilot passenger. That’s a unique technology development from Uber’s VTOL, and then other companies sort of working inside those margins like Airbus that see this as a lucrative emerging field probably in the same way that automated driving was seen as something you need to be involved in lest the tech overtake you and you end up feeling behind.”"