Seeking Delphi, a podcast dedicated to futurist issues, recently released episode No. 27 titled “Future of Driving Part 2, Flying Cars with Kaushik Rajashekara.”
“Whenever I’m in traffic, I wish I had a flying car,” Rajashekara said. Except in his case, it’s not merely wishful thinking.
Rajashekara – distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, head of the Cullen College power and energy systems program and director of the Power Electronics, Microgrids and Subsea Electrical Systems (PEMSES) laboratory – is a world-renowned authority and advocate for renewable energy and futuristic vehicles, in particular flying cars.
Early in his career at General Motors/Delphi, Rajashekara was a member of the team that helped develop the General Motors EV1, the first mass-produced electric car from a major automaker. As chief scientist, he continued to develop and advocate for electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicle propulsion systems. He then served as chief technologist at Rolls-Royce, where he worked on advanced architectures for more electric and hybrid electric aircrafts. During this time, Rajashekara also investigated strategies for electric taxiing of airplanes, flying trucks, and powering drones.
He believes that technologies based on automobile-aircraft hybrids are a definite possibility for flying cars not too far in the future. However, he cautioned, initially the technology will be very expensive and used primarily by the military and medical industries for quick transportation.
Real flying cars, according to Rajashekara, are those that can both run on roads and fly in the air. The idea of flying cars, he said, has been around for 100 years or so. Now, the first commercial flying car is expected to be available for purchase – at an estimated price of $400,000 – sometime in 2019.
In the podcast, he addresses several issues: from design and implementation to safety and traffic control.
Mark Sackler, the creator and host of Seeking Delphi, holds a graduate certificate in foresight from the University of Houston and is a credentialed member of the Association of Professional Futurists. He is a correspondent for the Age of Robots magazine. Sackler also has about 40 years of diverse media, marketing and sales experience.
To hear the podcast, click the following link: