Whatever Happened To The Flying Car?

It’s the 21st Century. Where is My Flying Car?

I got into a great discussion at lunch yesterday with a colleague on the state of affairs in innovation – most of it was the same kind of opening one typically hears about the future – one of the questions most asked is – whatever happened to the flying car?

Remember those old films and articles talking about the future and how awesome it was going to be – that everyone would be driving around in self-driving cars, and we’d even have flying cars.

  1. In India, the Tata Nano, a car, sells for around $2500
  2. A while back, a San Francisco councilman, appalled at the homeless’s lack of housing, built a few rooms in his backyard and let them out to homeless people.
  3. Since housing is so expensive in Silicon Valley, an enterprising dude took a monster house in East San Jose, split it into many rooms, and let each one out to a different renter.
  4. Just the other day, I tweeted about a startup called Tacocopter, which wanted to deliver tacos via helicopter drones. A fantastic, genuinely innovative idea.

All of the above are shot down by government regulation:

  1. We can’t have flying cars or taco copters due to FAA regulations.
  2. We can’t have innovative housing due to zoning restrictions.
  3. We can’t have self-driving cars due to highway regulations.
  4. We can’t have small cars like the Tata Nano due to safety regulations.

The big problem with America is that we have great ideas. The problem is that we can’t DO anything with those ideas only due to excessive government regulation. So what do we do? We can either:

  1. Reduce the amount of regulation here
  2. Go to some other country with less regulation and realize our vision.

Can you guess which is more comfortable?