A journalist asked my opinion about flying cars. I wrote this. Please tell me where I’m wrong.
For every technology pitch, you must ask not just “what is this like from the inside?” but also “what is it like from the outside?” All vehicle technologies are sold based on how cool or useful it will be to ride them. And most of these pitches do not want you think about what it will be like to be outside of them, or to share a city with them.
The issues with air taxis are obvious. Even if they are much quieter than helicopters, they will introduce a new type level of noise to the city, anywhere near where they takeoff and land. Their presence overhead in any numbers will have physical and emotional effects on the population. They will introduce entirely new kinds of accidents that make everyone fearful of the space above them. And in the end, by allowing elites to opt out of the transportation problems that everybody else in the city is having, they will encourage elite disinterest in solving those problems.
They will be cool to ride, though.