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Anonymous Poster #1

The Flying Car

02/28/2017 12:00 AM

Does it take a quantum leap of logic to progress from:

1) aerodynamics designed to assist a vehicle in adhering to a surface

2) ground effect vehicles e.g. the Ekranoplan

3) aircraft without "wings" e.g. the Flying Lawnmower

4) With the proper thrust and control surfaces what's preventing a supercar or drag boat from taking advantage of ground-effect or even flying?

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#1

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 1:24 AM

Nothing...

Although you could build a ground effect flying car, the question is where would you fly it....? You need a special lane...

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/ground-effect-robot-could-be-key-to-future-high-speed-trains

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 2:03 AM

I've seen each of those videos, depicting such craft or similar ones. They really aren't using the body of the vehicle as a control surface, however. No apparent gyroscopic stabilization, either.

"Although you could build a ground effect flying car, the question is where would you fly it....? You need a special lane..."

Why would you necessarily need a special lane?

Examine the architecture of this proposed supercar. Kawasaki ZX-770R . Picture it without most of the lower panels designed to keep it non-airborne. Almost looks flyable as is.

Let's suppose the downforce mechanisms e.g. a rear spoilers were augmented with a front spoiler, and the driver could vary their angles of deflection to provide downforce when needed for braking and lift when desired . If you simultaneously added positive camber to the wheels the result would be substantial gains in fuel economy by reduction of rolling friction. Add a mechanism for forward thrust independent of the wheels. The vehicle is still making contact with the road. Of course, with the advent of intelligent cars, most of this process could be computer controlled.

What are valid reasons such a first step toward the flying car would not be feasible?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 9:01 AM

<...Why would you necessarily need a special lane?...> Because the guidance technology of a ground-effect vehicle is not necessarily compatible with that used by other vehicles, and there are safety implications for both occupants and bystanders.

  • Road vehicles are not generally with railways, and vice-versa.
  • Maglev trains are not necessarily compatible with conventional rail technology.
  • High speed rail is not necessarily compatible with conventional rail technology.
  • Etc.
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#6
In reply to #3

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 9:17 AM

Come on Slack be a little more supportive of this nutty Idea

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#19
In reply to #6

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 2:19 PM

Look, I'm just posing a few questions, and making few assertions. I never said that I built a fully-operational 1/2 scale prototype indistiquishable except for it's size from a conventional auto.

You'd think it was 1825 and I was asking Fredski to get on a train going 35.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 10:08 AM

When the Stockton-Darlington Railway opened in 1825, people feared the worst: the human body, surely, wasn't made to travel at incredible speeds of 30 miles per. People genuinely believed that going that quickly would kill you in gruesome ways, such as your body melting.

Are we all reading the OP (Original Post)? Also, are we all reading the first post in response?-- "Although you could build a ground effect flying car..."

We are not talking about any specific type of vehicle produced currently. Not a ground-effect vehicle such as the Ekranoplan et. al., not an air-cushion vehicle such as the Princess Anne Hoverspeed. Not a flying lawnmower, like The SkyCutter. But a car. A supercar, if you will e.g. the Kawasaki ZX-770R. But let's say any vehicle, for that matter, travelling at a sufficient speed becomes a ground-effect vehicle.

Whether this effect is large enough to cause problems with steering and braking becomes an issue after that. In this thought exercise, or flight of fancy (depending on one's perspective) we haven't even left the ground yet--if you notice--just applied extreme positive camber to the wheels of the car, added a front spoiler and redirected downforce to instead provide minimal lift....to reduce rolling resistance, which--sources say--amounts to 35% of the total friction losses of the average car.

But I can certainly see your point, and the next poster's. Safety is a major concern.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 9:11 AM

Why would you necessarily need a special lane?

When I was in college, some Aerospace Engineering students built a hovercraft, and when they tried it out, it had a tendency to slide off the crown of the road and into the curb. Roads are built that way for water run off when it rains.

The big advantage of wheels on the ground is steering. It would be very difficult to safely use hovercraft on two way streets.

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 11:28 AM

..."Why would you necessarily need a special lane?"...

Traffic lights, overhead signs, emergency stops, sharp turns, strong winds, landing....

Plus the added "mechanism for forward thrust" would negate any fuel savings....Planes aren't known for good fuel milage....

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 9:38 AM
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#9
In reply to #7

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 10:10 AM

Thanks for the link. Never saw a race car pull a drag boat flip like that before.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 10:46 AM

You'll find quite a few on Youtube.

This has got to be one of the scariest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxONVf9oVss#t=94.48166666666667

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#16
In reply to #10

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 12:54 PM

Okaaayyyyy. Also, viewed the compilation reel: Le Mans Flying Cars

The last driver in this series of airborne maneuvers even manage to pull a "Harrison Ford". it seems.

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#4

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 9:07 AM

A Supercar.

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#11

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 10:51 AM

Just get to the point of scape velocity, then you don't need wings to fly.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 11:43 AM

You don't need wings to fly at less than escape velocity, or rather within the atmosphere.

Case in point: The Flying Lawnmower

Any any vehicle at a given speed, in close enough proximity to the surface, is a ground effect vehicle.

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#14

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 12:12 PM

Here's a picture of one of my first cars: An '82 Dodge Charger 2.2

Notice the headlight openings. Remind you of anything?

I always thought they looked like inlet ports on a fighter jet. I thought some more--why not? Why couldn't the headlights swivel out of the way (and I suppose the taillights, also) and provide throughput for corresponding electric turbines on each side.

Well, whether or not they would be powerful enough to propel the car to supercar speeds may be a question forever unanswered. But another mechanism these peculiar headlight openings could serve as, I thought, were (for lack of a better term) "control surfaces." Depending upon where their throughput was directed--even sans an intermediate turbine--one could control pitch, yaw, and roll. A different take on thrust vectoring. You see where I'm going here?

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 12:39 PM

Yes , you want a Batmobile....

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#21
In reply to #15

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 3:17 PM

Fair game...

Let's exclude the jet propulsion for now. Here's a picture of the rear of that '82 Charger. But it could be any car...

Let's say you had air exhaust flow-thru vents in six locations:

  • Above and in front of spoiler--left corner
  • Above and in front of spoiler--right corner
  • Left tail light
  • Right tail light
  • Below bumper--left side
  • Below bumper--right side

And, the headlight openings are the air intake locations. Simple flow-thru, non-assisted.

Let's say you were traveling 120mph down a lonely highway. By opening and/or closing the various intakes and/or exhausts to varying degrees, what would be the resultant aerodynamic effects?

  1. None
  2. Who knows?
  3. There would be no way to find out except through experiments in the actual car.
  4. Get a Batmobile, or
  5. Seriously...
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#22
In reply to #21

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 3:56 PM

Option 3. And you would need to increase the width and length of the underside to create additional lift and make the underside flatter, the increased wing (below the car) would need to follow a anhedral to create the ground affect lift.

And possibly make the wing corrugated to increase lift, as on a Junker Ju52

http://www.aviation-history.com/theory/wing_dihedral.htm

http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/dihedral-angles.html

http://airfieldmodels.com/information_source/math_and_science_of_model_aircraft/formulas/dihedral.htm

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 4:53 PM

With all the clutter under most autos today, it's seems very little attention is being paid to the aerodynamics of the underside--a whole lot of turbulent flow and hence drag occurs there. Reviewing the Le Mans Flying Cars video, it seems I recall one of the vehicles had a totally flat underside. I assume that was an attempt to remedy that.

I wonder what would be the effect if instead of planar, the underside were concave?

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#26
In reply to #22

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 5:48 PM

Where are the wings on The SkyCutter? We're talking about measures to increase automobile safety, aerodynamically, first....then maybe ground-effect, ground tracking...and then control mechanisms to maneuver in the air (possibly), finally, and what is occurring in the transit periods in between.

I mean, at least that was my hope, IQ.

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#36
In reply to #22

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 2:03 PM

The corrugations were intended to increase stiffness, not to improve the aerodynamics.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 4:10 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli%27s_principle#Applications

Enjoy Bernoulli's with your beer and Charger.

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 5:07 PM

Thanks. Somebody somehow put a ping pong ball in my bottle of Mickey's, however, and now I'm holding it out the window of my Charger with the broken speedometer, blasting Sammy Hagar's " I Can't drive 55".

Oh well, crisis averted--the ping pong ball miraculously popped out.

Sammy was married to Valerie Bernoulli, wasn't he? Or was that Eddie Van Halen?

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#17

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 12:57 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHlXkzW6xhQ

May be of interest/entertaining.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 2:08 PM

I see...."airplanes with drivetrains" like the AeroMobil. Or attaching wings and tails to existing vehicles. I'm sure that with the right wingspan, power, and balance you could make any land vehicle "fly".

When you look at the examples of the Le Mans Flying Cars et.al. it seems apparent that even the best "ground effects" [ironically, that's what they are called] tech we have are to no avail once a vehicle loses traction and becomes subject to ground-effect in the aeronautical sense.

Sans wings, however, what are the parameters and limitations of controlling a conventional vehicle once it becomes airborne?

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 2:26 PM

Once a vehicle becomes airborne the only thing there is to maneuver is the air.

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#27

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 10:59 PM

Trust me when I say that the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel hosted many types of vehicles from its opening in 1931 to its demolition in 2010.

Vehicles included airplanes, cars, ground effect vehicles, and other objects, including boats and submarines. Oh, and a scale model of an airship hangar building.

Hooker

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: The Flying Car

02/28/2017 11:35 PM

"the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel hosted many types of vehicles from its opening in 1931 to its demolition in 2010" --therefore any possible design, no matter how divergent from protocol was tested....is that what you are sayiing?

Do you not think that any government agency is bound within the framework of the commodities that drive it's sponsor's economy? Kudos for the privatization of the space program, although corporate entities are arguably analogous to a fifth branch of government.

Yet we are still in the "modeled after nature" rut, aren't we? Particularly in aerospace. Instead of exploring new avenues, we immediately jump to the last intersection and quote the principles of past innovations as a way to discredit the validity of new propositions, even before we explore the methodology.

These robotics researchers seemingly took an off-ramp somewhere.

Robotics Researchers Discovered a Better Way For Insects to Walk

Not necessarily in terms of biological evolution, but until we start creating organic, adaptive machines, I'd say their findings have a particular merit, wouldn't you?

NASA...what about SETI?

If alien technology disguised as ordinary objects fell into our hands, how would we even imagine to reverse-engineer it --with such stringent adherence to our own contemporary science, that we cannot imagine our own future were any of it might be refuted, debunked, deemed not pragmatic, or even detrimental to further development?

History shows that neither could the scientific community of the past, invariably...almost.

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#32
In reply to #28

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 8:22 AM

"the NASA Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel hosted many types of vehicles from its opening in 1931 to its demolition in 2010" --therefore any possible design, no matter how divergent from protocol was tested....is that what you are sayiing?

No, just that NACA’s and NASA’s mission was and is to test any remotely feasible possible advance to aeronautical knowledge.

Do you not think that any government agency is bound within the framework of the commodities that drive it's sponsor's economy? Kudos for the privatization of the space program, although corporate entities are arguably analogous to a fifth branch of government.

I don’t understand the above commentary. Do you have any direct knowledge of NACA/NASA’s mission(s), budgeting or operations? The agency continues to perform its mission(s) in pure and applied research in the fields of aeronautics and aerospace. The only real limitation I’m aware of in terms of “bounds” is what might not make it through the budgeting process.

Yet we are still in the "modeled after nature" rut, aren't we? Particularly in aerospace. Instead of exploring new avenues, we immediately jump to the last intersection and quote the principles of past innovations as a way to discredit the validity of new propositions, even before we explore the methodology.

You seem to be limited by a lack of knowledge of what NASA does and has done. I’m not aware of the limiting parameters that you ascribe to aerospace research. I suggest you peruse the Tech Briefs and Tech Briefs Archive websites for better understanding.

These robotics researchers seemingly took an off-ramp somewhere.

Robotics Researchers Discovered a Better Way For Insects to Walk

Not necessarily in terms of biological evolution, but until we start creating organic, adaptive machines, I'd say their findings have a particular merit, wouldn't you?

Mobility is an important aspect of a lot of research targets. Why do you think researchers haven’t been investigating “organic, adaptive machines”?

NASA...what about SETI?

If alien technology disguised as ordinary objects fell into our hands, how would we even imagine to reverse-engineer it --with such stringent adherence to our own contemporary science, that we cannot imagine our own future were any of it might be refuted, debunked, deemed not pragmatic, or even detrimental to further development?

I have to smile at this comment. When we were building the Viking landers in the 70’s very heated discussions arose about providing the capability of identifying extra-terrestrial lifeforms. Long story short, the Landers were limited to searching only for carbon based lifeforms. We were afraid, unless something literally walked up and stared into the camera, that we could possibly miss an exotic lifeform (such as silicon based). In the scope of the project we simply could not address everything. In reality, all research is ultimately limited by budgets and sometimes the politics that arises in the fights to acquire budgets for projects. In my experience limitations in research are not as you describe.

History shows that neither could the scientific community of the past, invariably...almost.

Forgive me but I’m obviously too obtuse to understand the above comment.

Disclaimer: I write from the direct knowledge of having been a NASA employee from 1966 to 1978 and the incidental history lessons of NACA/NASA I received during that period and subsequently, not to mention my continuing casual interest in the agency that made such a huge impression on me during my early career. My knowledge of NASA projects is certainly not exhaustive, especially in terms of the Centers external to Langley but has been augmented by other experiences acquired during my career in the aerospace and high tech industries.

Regards, Hooker

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#34
In reply to #32

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 1:11 PM

I'm asserting that many of the established beliefs of the scientific community at various epochs in history (or any given time), were later refuted, debunked, or even deemed quackery by the ensuing generations of researchers and developers.

Are we now at the pinnacle of progress where everything is established as firmament?

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 1:54 PM

At the pinnacle?? Hardly, in my opinion. But then I was taught to be a rational skeptic of all things scientifically affirmed.

For example; earthquake and tsunami science were purported to be well established prior to 2004. Then along came the Christmas SE Asia upthrust quake and tsunami, then the Japanese tsunami and all the scientific "assumptions", masquerading as fact, were thrown into the refuse bin of history.

I have the same suspicions of today's climate sciences.

I'll consider that we've nearly reached the pinnacle when we have mastered the Star Trek transporter and we can abandon all of our primitive transportation methodologies. At the point we turn gas stations and highways into green spaces we will have reached a watershed moment in human history, but still not the pinnacle, whatever that may be.

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#29

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 5:36 AM

Flying lawnmower will be awesome. Now I won't have to rent that crane.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 6:04 AM

Pretty much precludes the need for a hedge cllpper or tree trimmer, I'd add.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 6:09 AM

Hilarious.

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#33

Re: The Flying Car

03/01/2017 12:07 PM

No, not a quantum leap. Just a complete re engineering of society and civilizations infrastructure.

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: The Flying Car

03/03/2017 10:27 PM

A paradigm shift, you mean? Let's just say for dragboats and supercars, then.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: The Flying Car

03/04/2017 3:50 AM

And the paradigm shift being what? A gear lever is a theoretical paradigm shift.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: The Flying Car

03/05/2017 3:46 AM

Why would it necessarily take a radical change in the economic infrastructure, then, also. We are talking about developing a technology--not necessarily marketing it for consumerism.

Theoretical paradigm shifts and actual ones would be quite distinct. Dissimilar from rules of acquisition--like the Ferengi

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: The Flying Car

03/05/2017 9:39 AM

Why did you change the discussion to economics? Infrastructure and paradigms do not lie solely in the realm of economics.

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#37

Re: The Flying Car

03/03/2017 2:11 PM

Drag boats do fly , un-intentionally).

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#42

Re: The Flying Car

04/18/2017 1:41 PM

Push 60 million volts through an insulated aluminum and copper skin, making any shape of the craft weightless. The field around the craft will make it aerodynamic, creating an effect of hot knife through butter, in relation to air effects.

Put any kind of propulsion you want on it.

Works.

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#43

Re: The Flying Car

06/28/2017 5:33 AM

I would think that although the idea of the ekranoplan theory being translated in to a flying car is not ridiculous in itself you would have to ask what is the point as the ground clearance would not be much more than the actual distance if you put wheels on the vehicle so would not give any advantage.

in other words you would still be stuck in traffic but not be able to push the vehicle to the side of the lane if it breaks down.

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#44

Re: The Flying Car

12/21/2019 4:46 AM

This proposed plane-- also a lifting body aircraft- -what would be prohibitive re: a dihedral wing configuration situated before and aft of the craft's body?

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: The Flying Car

12/21/2019 9:16 AM

I don't like this and most naive artist's concepts of an airplane. How does the pilot view the ground during takeoff and landing? I also wonder about the infrastructure needed to support such a design. How does people and/or cargo enter and leave any of the three drop tank like pods under the plane?

Far too often these artistic visions only look "cool" in the drawings. These objects almost never leave the concept stage without significant modifications. I'd be surprised if this design was even made into a usable RC plane. Remember, with enough thrust and rudimentary controls one can even make a RC lawnmower to fly but the novelty fades in just a few minutes.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: The Flying Car

12/21/2019 8:59 PM

Let's just assume the ergonomics of the artist's representation are not dubious...

The length of the wings seem to approximate the width of it's lifting body. Let's eliminate the wings. Now it's lifting body is left.

Now if you situate a wing between the vertical stabilizers--like the rear wing of the Superbird in pic above--and (an inverted) one between the pontoons of the plane ,with an equal surface area to the one eliminated previously....

What would preclude it from flying?

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: The Flying Car

12/21/2019 9:50 PM

If you're just going to dismiss my concerns, please don't ask me for more criticism. You obviously won't listen.

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#48

Re: The Flying Car

01/10/2020 12:39 AM

Insure it Yourself

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: The Flying Car

01/11/2020 12:56 AM

Just because a flying car exists doesn't necessarily mean everyone would or should have an equal opportunity to pilot one. Besides, by the time the day arrived that an average person could get behind the wheel, the vehicle would have safety protocols that couldn't be overridden, don't you think?

So it's taboo to even have a thought exercise on the topic -- people just might take off quicker than the one-minute critics above.

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