Saturday, May 12, 2018

Uber Alles

If you have been lucky enough to hang around with me for any amount of time, I have probably subjected you to my insistence that the time for a flying car passed some time ago. It is 2018. We live in the future, where we send pictures of cats through satellites in space for the amusement of anyone who happens if fortunate enough to be on the end of your "reply all." We have robot maids, and jobs we hate, why can't we have that other staple of the Jetsons' lifestyle: The Flying Car?
I have seen a number of prototypes over the years. I have one friend in particular who delights in sending me each new advance in flying car technology in hopes of meeting my approval. Along with the limits of the jet pack experiments he has sent along to me, I let my derisive sniff carry the day. When there is a marketed version of this futuristic transportation that I can imagine parking in my garage next to my weed-eater and Weber grill, then it might as well continue to be a prop in a cartoon.
Unless Uber is serious about their flying taxi. It looks like a great big drone, and it is being built to eliminate the congestion of urban areas. It can fly at speeds up to two hundred miles an hour, and has a range of sixty miles on a charge. That sound you heard was my wife falling over herself wondering where she can get one, since solar charged batteries are a big part of her reason for living these days. The bad news? Uber says they are still two years away from getting their future and five from making that future available to ride-sharing public.
Which is encouraging, until you remember that it's Uber. Which means that these vehicles will be double parked somewhere just over your house, humming away in the early morning hours while the GPS is double checked and the realization is made that they really wanted Brookdale Avenue and not Brookdale Street. Which reminds me about the way I feel about driving in general: I avoid it. Imagine all that potential gridlock occurring a few hundred feet off the ground, and suddenly my terrestrial bicycle seems like the best possible future I can imagine.
Until I can get one of those that flies.

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