And what of Eric's quote? Sounds like someone who's busy building a self-driving car-- not someone who loves the beauty of being a pilot!
Are we to cede all functions that we used to master to computers? Really?
Give me a break.
People bake bread in their homes every day. Nothing is stopping anyone from doing it. But most people let a machine do it for them.
So will go piloting.
We are. You don't have to for many things, but for instance a self-driving-car; it's very likely it will be forbidden to drive a car in 100 years yourself (only on special tracks) because computer driven cars will be much safer and you are a hazard. This will happen wether you like it or not; it's a question of when; I think 100 years is pessimistic (or optimistic depending on your POV) of me.
Mostly everything you buy or do will be computerized/made by robots in not too much time. Hopefully they'll find a better way of writing code so that we won't all die because of the many 1000s of bugs in everything, but it is not something you can stop.
Edit: you are on HN so I suppose you are interested in computers and live somewhere civilized; if you live in a jurt somewhere without internet/computers/phones (so far enough for mobile signals to reach you) you can hold up for at least your lifetime without all that probably :)
However, considering the current speed of research I believe (and hope) that before something like that goes "very" public and popular it will be already automated.
I think can of a few dirty workarounds. But for this to be optimal, I still think we'd have to master fully automated both air and ground driving first.
A robotic car could be made to Self stop whenever a failure happens, that is a luxury that planes don't have.
The real dream of the flying car is having the utility of a car (kids, groceries, etc.) with the ability to fly from point-to-point - not drive it on the road. The Jetsons had a flying car without wheels or roadability - that's the ideal.
This means the city-friendly / VTOL aspect is waaaay more important than the "fast taxi" approach being taken. The Moller M400 (I know vaporware) seemed A LOT closer to this.
Of course, the design of this vehicle makes more sense for today: land on a small runway on the outskirts of town, and then drive to your real location. This saves a ton of energy and seemingly works okay with existing infrastructure - assuming your city has a nearby airstrip.
Some people essentially want a flying machine that they can land in their driveway and parking lots, that they can take to the air for all but the shortest trips, with little need for "car" abilities. Others want something that's a car the majority of the time, but can fly on those midrange (60-600 miles) city-to-city trips.
VTOL on city streets is unlikely to be popular any time soon, largely due to safety concerns. But there's been a constant push for decades for something that can take off and land at small airstrips, and with only a few minutes' conversion work, can then drive over to grandma's house. Turning a 6 hour drive into a 3 hour flight would be a big deal.
A vehicle like this wouldn't have comparable cruising speeds to airplanes (something like 80mph cruise), but could take off and land anywhere, and would have higher fuel efficiency than one of today's cars. There are actually canarded airplames today which cruise at 160 knots and use less fuel per mile than a car.
I'm actually surprised there isn't more research into these kinds of vehicles, but I guess the Osprey fiasco has everyone running scared.
$300K is way too steep, though. For that price why not buy a new Cessna and just drive a clunker to the airport?
And, for that matter, $300K is way too steep for a Cessna. The amount of money added to planes to cover lawsuits is insane. You end up buying an amount of gear that might sell retail for 30-50K for 10 times that much.
I'd love to fly this, but hell, I don't see why I'd paid that much. Even if I were a gyrocopter fanatic, I'd just buy a kit and have it built. It's just way too much money for way too little capability.
Because when you get to the other end, you're stuck with the "$100 burger" at some out-of-the-way rural airstrip, instead of being able to drive into town and go to the nice pub.
You'd have to be quite special for that to be worth $300k on a "toy" though…
Where do I buy one?
Flying much faster then 200kmh usually needs tricks like going to more than 2 blades, and exceeding 500knh (where the advancing blade needs to exceed mach1 if the retreating blade isn't moving backwards through the air) required very expensive blades (and becomes outrageously noisy)
 'cause breaking the sound barrier along parts but not all of the advancing blade makes things complicated and expensive.
 and keep in mind this is backwards, relative to the body of the helicopter.autogyro
Cool folding prop (but scary - if it doesn't unfold properly, it could make quite a mess).
FWIIW, it is really a flying motorcycle, not a flying car. Three wheeled vehicles (in the USA) are licensed as motorcycles and have hugely lower regulatory (especially safety) requirements.
Hard to tell from the video alone, but the rotor look just like my RC helicopter's: blades attached to the hub by one gudgeon pin each. If that's the case, centrifugal force alone is enough to align them perfectly †; no solenoid nor manual action needed ever. If that's the case, there's virtually no way those could fail, except for total disintegration. Pretty standard construction for small, two-bladed helis.
Way cooler is that they can get away without flybar -- perhaps autogyros don't ever need one?
† there's some forward-backward play of the blade as it changes attack angle and relative airspeed during rotation, but that's another matter.
A proximity warning radar to warn things nearby would be nice.
Range 350 - 500 km
Max speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy: 36 l/h
This is 20 l/100 km at max speed (11.76 MPG), so not amazing but not much worse than an SUV (my car, which is average, gets 10 l/100km). Plus you're flying in a straight line which is worth a lot.
For more densely populated countries, in the future there will be a network of small airstrips near recreational areas along the highway could lead to a much denser infrastructure. The ministry of Traffic in the Netherlands has started testing this concept in anticipation of the arrival of PAL-Vs in traffic. See movie (Link to movie ministry tests PAL-V ports).
Wow, they really think that there will be enough people buying these to create a need for large numbers of airstrips? Crazy :).
My idea was a van-like vehicle that was neutrally buoyant with bladders to control the buoyancy sort of a lifting-body dirigible with wheels
Then I see SkyCat it's huge but pretty much the idea I had.
I'm 0 for 2 this week for ideas, my subwoofer siren idea apparently has been made too.
In fact, at the $300,000 price you might as well get a lightweight plane ($20K would get you a decent one), and a really nice car for $280,000.
Since you can't legally take off and land on a road, there's no real difference.
"Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists' risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car."
"...auto collisions are the leading cause of injury-related deaths, an estimated total of 1.2 million in 2004, or 25% of the total from all causes. Of those killed by autos, nearly two-thirds are pedestrians."
Which side of the accident would you rather be on?
Note that homicide merely means killing of a person (by another). It could be accidental.