Originally Posted by GILavco
We will never get hover vehicles mainstream. Think about the terrorists attacks that could be instilled.
We will never get them because of terrorists? Really?
I can come up with 5 better reasons why these will never become mainstream:
1. Peoples' ability - How many bad drivers are out there? Now imagine that in 3 dimensions at >170MPH and up to 10'000 feet up...
2. Litigation - Any idea how long it took to get the first cars on the road? And that was back in the day when politicians were capable of making decisions. Legalizing a flying vehicle for mainstream use is going to take some time.
3. Fuel economy - Like it or not, rolling friction from wheels is always going to be lower than the power needed to lift a vehicle into the air and keep it there. With energy getting more expensive, and I am not just talking about fossil fuels here, fuel efficiency is going to be a real concern in the near future.
4. Practicality - Where is the cargo space? Can you fly it in high winds? Or heavy rain? How much space do you need to take off and land safely? Can you strap your kids into the back seat, or take it to the shops?
5. Safety and public perception - The big one. People really don't like to take risks now. Look at most car ads, they almost always mention some safety rating or other. A lot of people think new things are unsafe, and like it or not it is the uninformed majority that make most of our collective decisions. Try selling a computer controlled car to a bunch of people at the mall, hell even try explaining overclocking or water cooling to them. I bet a lot of them say that it is very dangerous, bound to go wrong, or just can't see the point.
So no, this is not going to become mainstream any time soon terrorists or not. It will continue to be a hobby for eccentric rich people, or available to rent out from adventure agencies, for a long time to come.
Pity, I rather liked the idea.