New Hampshire’s motto is ‘Live Free or Die.’ Needless to say, the Granite state is often confused with Jalopnik due to the similarity of our mottos, the legislature, at least, does seem to believe in driving free as well as living free. Maybe just in the case of driving cars that do not yet exist? On Wednesday, they legalized the operation of flying cars on New Hampshire roads.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: There is no such thing as a flying car. Many companies, both small startups, and established corporate giants have made big promises by revealing concepts that they call flying cars or have even promised to bring a sorta-flying car to market. But they haven’t. No one has. Flying cars exist in the same way as Level 5 autonomous cars exist: In theory only.
And much like these empty promises of soaring above traffic-clogged streets, New Hamshire’s law doesn’t really legalize flying cars in the way you’d want either. House Bill 1182, aka the “Jetson Bill,” makes flying cars legal on the road, essentially making it legal to drive your flying car to an airport in order to take off, Roadshow reports. Flying cars, should they ever actually exist still won’t be allowed to take off from public roads.
Do you know what that is? A plane you can drive. But a plane you can drive is different from a flying car. If you can’t soar over a badly congested road while yelling “so long, suckers!” from the safety of the skies, then what is the point? Just keep it in a hanger like the plane it obviously is and save the gas.
There aren’t any flying cars, and there aren’t any on the horizon for two fairly good reasons: The technology simply isn’t there yet and there’s no rush to develop it because no one would buy the damn things. From our own Jason Torchinsky:
Still, they all fail to realize that the problem isn’t the engineering — the problem has been solved, more or less, dozens of times — the problem is nobody wants the damn things. Really. Each of these companies should have looked back at the decades and decades of failures here and realized that the problem isn’t the plane — it’s the pilots. Because that’s what you have to be, a pilot, to drive one of these. And how many pilots do you know? And how many of them are screaming for these?
Just think for a moment and try to imagine the ideal customer for a flying car. It’d have to be someone with an actual pilot’s license but no plane. Someone who actually needed both a car and a plane, and had no means to switch easily from one to the other.
And he’s right of course. In the last few years, we’ve written about dozens of flying car concepts, most of which are more planes or drones than cars. While these concepts are interesting and provide fascinating solutions to engineering challenges, it is clear they aren’t real. New Hampshire might as well legalize jet packs.