Sunday, May 19, 2013

When Pigs Fly

   I may not consider myself old...but I know I’m getting older. I know I seem old when I remember and use sayings that were old when I was young. In particular, I remember being told that something would happen “when pigs fly.” Essentially being told that whatever it was I was enthralled with at the time, just wasn’t ever going to happen...since pigs will never sprout wings and fly. I used to think the same about cars, but now it seems I have to change my thoughts as such a thing has gone from just around the corner!

   Imagine my surprise to open the local newspaper and read a small blurb about the development of a flying car. I felt a small swell of pride to hear the company developing the TF-X, Terrafugia, is from my home state of Massachusetts (Woburn to be exact)...but then a sense of dread as I imagined all the people that can’t seem to understand the basic tenets of driving (and yet have a license), flying around in the air!

   I can only surmise that if such a car ever becomes available to the general public, it would be with serious restrictions. Driving is a privilege, not a right...and I would suspect that driving a car that can fly would be a privilege reserved for those that are also pilots. I would love to own a flying car, and fly around and away from traffic and bad drivers, but I honestly can’t see myself becoming a pilot. Fortunately for me...the good people at Terrafugia have thought of nearly everything.

   According to their website, the TF-X will be able to fly and land...all by itself! I suppose this is the way they must go if they plan on making it available to “everyone.” Dare I say, if such technology exists, then why not put it in cars right now? I can’t believe the number of drivers I come across that could benefit from not being the one in control of the vehicle!

   Really though, I’m impressed with the number of safety features this vehicle is purported to have. They should just say “idiot drivers welcome” as it seems that someone is paying attention to the things I see, and are thinking smartly of how to avoid that behavioral replication in the sky.

   I remember I used to watch The Jetsons as a child and I never dreamed, not for a second, that I would be alive to see the beginnings of that cartoon begin to come to life. That’s what this is...the future made real. Fantasy made into reality. A bold step to  make what could be into what is. Kudos to the brilliant minds working on this idea...and may they have continued success at thwarting the one thing they really can’t control or even rightly prepare for: human nature.

   Flying cars...what will they think of next?

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