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Flying taxis could be more efficient than long-distance gas and electric cars – TechCrunch



Flying cars certainly sound cool, but if they really are a good idea, there is debate. Fortunately, they seem to have some surefire benefits, among which you can now count on improved efficiency – theoretically and on long trips. But that's something!

Air travel takes a huge amount of energy as you have to lift something heavily into the air and keep it there for quite some time. It is often faster, but rarely more efficient than ground transportation, which allows gravity to do the hard work.

Of course, when a plane reaches its height, it crosses high-speed trains with little friction to contend with, and if you & # 39; When you walk 100 meters or 50 miles, you only have to go once. So the University of Michigan researchers thought there might be a sweet spot where you take a flying car, could actually save energy. Turns out there is … kind of. The team released their results today in Nature Communications.

UM engineers made an efficiency model for both land transport and electric vertical launch and landing aircraft (VTOL) based on specifications from airlines working on them. [1

9659005] "Our model represents general trends in the VTOL space and uses parameters from multiple studies and aircraft designs to specify weight, lift-to-drag ratio and battery-specific energy," says study author Noah Furbush in a UM press release.

They looked at how these different theoretical vehicles were carried out when taking different numbers of people different distances, compared energy consumed.

As you may think, flight is not very convenient for walking a mile or two since you use up all the energy coming to the height and then come straight down again. But on the 100 km mark (about 62 miles) it looks a little different.

For a 100 km ride, a single passenger in a flying car uses 35 percent less energy than a gas powered car, but still 28 percent more than an electric vehicle. In fact, the flying car is better than the gas that starts about 40 km. But it never really comes up with the EVs for efficiency, even if it comes close. Do you like charts?

ICEV: Internal combustion engine vehicle; VTOL: Vertical start and landing; BEV: Battery electric car. The vertical axis is emissions.

In order to do better, they had to taste the numbers a little, assuming that flying taxis would be more likely to operate in full capacity with a pilot and three passengers while the ground vehicles were unlikely to have their average occupancy 1.5 people would change a lot. With that in mind, they found that a 100 km trip with three passengers hardly strikes the person's effectiveness of EVs.

It may seem a bit thin victory, but keep in mind that the flying car would be making the trip probably a quarter of the time, unaffected by traffic and other problems. Plus there is the view.

Of course, this is all theoretical right now, but studies like this help companies who want to enter this business decide how their service will be organized and marketed. The reality may look a little different from the theory, but I want to make some reality with flying cars.


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