Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need More Than A Moderate Amount of Roads.

April 5, 2012


I think we can all agree that every single thing the human race has ever done has been just a huge disappointment.  Especially the future.  We were promised a lot of things by inventors, movies and crazy people, and what do we have to show for it besides the iPod?  Squat.  Teleporters?  No.  Laser guns?  No.  Rocket packs? Please.  Faster-than-light space travel?  Aliens?  Robot servants who become sentient and rise up in violent revolt?  Nope.  No. Nada.

But all is forgiven.  Why?


Yes, I know they weren't sunglasses. Calm down.

Yes, two (two!) companies have unveiled their prototypes for flying cars this week, and suddenly the future’s looking so bright, I got to wear cool, futuristic shades.  Like whatisface.  The Reading Rainbow guy from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  You know who I mean.  After all these years of drudgery, the future is finally, finally, happening!

The first, The Transition, from a company called Terrefugia, will be on display at the New York International Auto Show on Friday.  Also on display will be the new model of New York taxis (which I’m not sure I could get excited about even if I lived in New York and owned stock in Checker Cab) and a car that drives itself.  Which has to suck for those guys.

Auto Guy: Behold!  The car that drives itself!  Imagine yourself, free to take care of–

Spectator: Does it fly?

Auto Guy:  Huh? Well… no.

Spectator: Pass.

But back to the FLYING CARS.

Sure, a Blade Runner future also includes dystopian horror and constant darkness, but... you take the bad with the good.

Now, they’re prototypes, so they’re… you know… they’re not Blade Runner. They’re not Back To The Future Part II or The 5th Element.  They’re not handsome vehicles.  But here’s the thing: it’s 2012 and the first one’s rolling out.  Blade Runner was set in 2019.  Which means we’ll have the Blade Runner cars in just 7 years!  And Back To The Future II was in 2015! Yippee!

Here’s the first vehicle, The Transition (which sounds like a character on the off-brand version of Jersey Shore).  The music tries to make it fast paced, even when the guy’s just getting gas at a mini-mart, and it’s a little disappointing that he takes off from an airport as opposed to, say, being in a traffic jam, pulling into the emergency lane, yelling, “Sayonara, Losers! HAHAHAHAHAHA!” and taking off… but still…

The competitor is from a Dutch company, and it’s called the PAL-V (Personal Air/Land Vehicle).  Of the two, The Transition is clearly the “family man’s” flying car.  The PAL-V is the sexy one that you’d use to meet and terrify girls, and looks like you’d definitely die in.  But in a James Bond way, and with a propeller that’s super cool.

Both vehicles are already pre-selling for about $300,000, which is a lot of money, except that, of course, you’d then have a FLYING CAR.  And now that flying cars are becoming a reality, logically, all the promises that were made about the future are about to come true.  As such, I would like to pre-order the following:

  • 1 Transition
  • 1 PAL-V
  • 1 Millennium Falcon (with Wookie)
  • 5 laser pistols
  • Enrollment in the “Light Saber of the Month” club
  • A clone, who doesn’t realize he’s a clone, discovers the truth and has a terrifying existential crisis, then comes to accept it and we bond
  • 1 Blade Runner police car with personalized license plate reading, “Sayonara, Losers!”
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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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56 Comments on “Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need More Than A Moderate Amount of Roads.”

  1. Paul G. Eberlein Says:

    Awesome! I would prefer the PAL-V while I’m still a bachelor, then go with the Transition after I get married (provided that I find a woman who doesn’t think that I’m totally nuts to drive / fly either one).
    Now, if the powers that be could deliver on the 4-hour work day and 4-day work week that they promised us back in the 1970’s, the future might be more worthwhile…


  2. Paul G. Eberlein Says:

    BTW–The guy with the cool specs from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is Levar Burton, who played “Kunta Kinte” in “Roots.”


  3. becomingcliche Says:

    I’d like a Serenity, please. Any Firefly model will do, actually.


  4. Lenore Diane Says:

    Reading Rainbow… Funny. And yes, I remember Reading Rainbow.
    As clumsy as the flying cars look, it is neat to see such a thing come to fruition.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The thing that cracked me up was how disappointed I actually was when they took off from an airport, even though of course they have to launch from an airport… for now…


  5. Anastasia Says:

    Geordie LaForge! That thing makes a great hair clip too!


  6. susielindau Says:

    I want to get me one of them flying cars!!!!! It’s about dang time~ I suppose I will need to get a pilot’s license..
    Great post!


  7. gojulesgo Says:

    Dang. I wish I was in that Transition commercial so I could say, at minute 1:48, when I drive right through the stop sign, “I totally paused.”

    This post is incredible for so many reasons. I could not stop laughing when you said, “…and looks like you’d definitely die in.”


  8. sj Says:

    God, I can’t even imagine the air-traffic jams once these are in driveways (flyways?) across the world. At that point, I might decide to be cool and retro and keep my old wheeled variety.

    (btw, the Blade Runner cars? Spinners. You’re welcome.)


  9. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    It’s bad enough dealing with the DMV and traffic violations….. would this mean we’d have to deal with the FAA as well ? Hm. Roller skates are lookin’ better & better !


  10. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Great. Just what I need. And I thought coming to those pesky 4-way stops were nerve-wracking enough.


  11. every record tells a story Says:

    Any news on those hover-board things? Or hologram chess?


  12. Audrey Says:

    AND for the great low price of just $200,000 you could even get a ticket for Virgin Galactic and spend some time at zero gravity – I think this launches (no pun intended) next year? I’m calling my travel agent…


  13. BrainRants Says:

    What? No Orion-class starship?


  14. Elyse Says:

    This is exactly what I was going to do with my lottery winnings. Damn.


  15. madtante Says:

    I can tell you’re much younger than I because you say the Reading Rainbow guy…TNG. I’d say, “Kunta Kinte who ended up being Geordie” (old lady points AND geek points).


  16. tomwisk Says:

    I need a flying car like I need a new@ss. The roads have enough nutjobs and asshats as it is and we truly don’t need them crashing into one another and falling out of the sky. At first we might view the herd-thinning as a good thing but if you crash your silver 2006 PT Cruised into some winged flotsam that has crashed in the left, right and center lanes of I-95 the bloom is off the rose.


  17. WSW Says:

    I’m holding out for a production model of Speed Racer’s powerful Mach V complete with buzz saws, deflectors, underwater capabilities and homing robots. That’s the future, my friend.


  18. thesinglecell Says:

    Yeah, um… no. Those aren’t flying cars. Those are a small, very strange looking plane and a helicopter Transformer. I know, I know, prototype. But until it looks like George Jetson’s jet-propelled, non-gasoline operating (seriously?! They couldn’t invent a fuel? Are they paying attention to the problem of gas consumption and prices right now?!) WonderBubble and it CAN take off from the highway without asking Clarence for clearance, I’m taking a pass.


  19. hotlyspiced Says:

    I would love a flying car. That would be handy. I think we all know the roads can’t handle any more traffic.


  20. Alison Armstrong Says:

    What about the cool space ship thing in Flight of the Navigator? Voice control over actual flying is way better.


  21. shoes Says:

    You lost me at the whole Reading Rainbow comment – it was a never ending loop of the Reading Rainbow song going through my head as I tried to focus on the uncool looking flying cars. How the heck can they make something as cool as flying cars look so uncool?

    Butterfly in the sky
    I can go twice as high
    Take a look
    It’s in a book
    A Reading Rainbow…

    I curse you!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s the “getting gas at the mini-mart” that kills me. Nope, it’s not the flying part I want to see, I want to know about filling that baby up! Ooooh, premium! I wonder if they have Turkey Jerky in that mini-mart?!


  22. Highest Form of Whit Says:

    I’m still waiting on cold fusion.


  23. freddyflow Says:

    For a must-see-TV moment on Jersey Shore, I’d like to see The Situation drive/fly (“dry?” “flive?”) The Transition.


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