NASA Engineer + Uber = Flying Cars? What Pros With Careers in the Auto Industry Need to Know
February 24, 2017
Every couple of years, the same promise gets repeated: flying cars are on their way. It’s a promise that has been repeated for decades, so it’s understandable that people have grown doubtful that these vehicles will ever arrive.
But there’s a new twist. Uber, the company that is looking to take over the world of transportation—and that is arguably succeeding—has brought Mark Moore, a former NASA engineer, on board specifically to figure out the problem of flying cars. Might they be the ones to crack this once and for all?
Here’s a look at what this partnership is focusing on.
Pros With Careers in the Auto Industry Can Expect These Vehicles to Be Like Buses
The idea of flying cars might seem worrying—there probably aren’t too many people who want a whole bunch of cars flying everywhere—but Uber’s vision doesn’t look like that. Instead, the idea is to have a number of hubs set up in different places, and have flying cars travel between those, a bit like a bus.
It’s an interesting transportation solution, and could be quite effective in reducing traffic congestion along some routes, for some people. It will also present unique opportunities for professionals with careers in the auto industry. New components will be required to keep these vehicles running, and the flying cars will need to be in top shape at all times, since people won’t take well to their ride falling from the sky.
This Vision Is Part of a Bigger Plan You Might See Develop After Your Auto Mechanic Certification
Uber’s activity in recent months has demonstrated its desire to transform its ridesharing service into the base for an all-encompassing transportation solution. It’s investing in and testing self-driving cars, it’s working on a system for moving cargo around, and turning all the data it has collected into a powerful tool for cities and transportation researchers around the world to use for planning.
If Uber continues to refine its product well enough, it’s conceivable that passengers could someday summon a car to pick them up and drive them to a flying car hub, then fly off to their further destination. If it’s convenient and cheap enough, it could lead to a significant reduction in traffic, or even personal car ownership. It’s entirely possible that, years after your auto mechanic certification, you could end up working on vehicles owned by corporations like Uber.
These Vehicles Face a Major Obstacle That Might Not Be Solved for a While
The current trend in automotive technology is toward cars that run on electricity, and the vision for Uber’s flying cars is that they will do the same. Electric cars, though they have improved in recent years, still have limited driving range, and this problem would be even bigger with a flying car. This is because it takes a lot more energy to keep something in the air than it does to just push it down the road.
There are many companies and independent researchers around the world working to create better batteries that can hold greater charge, and it’s likely that advancements will be made in those areas. Whether or not anything makes it to market soon, though, remains to be seen. Uber and Moore may have the drive to get flying cars out there, but they’ll still be stuck waiting for technology to catch up to their vision.
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