BttF_013When driving in the sky along with other flying cars that fill the skies in 2015, Doc follows a proscribed path in the sky called a “skyway.” Lanes are distinguished by floating lightposts, which the pilot keeps to his left. It all seems a little chaosy, but so does driving in Mumbai to the outsider, and it works if you know how. The other brilliance of the skyway is that suddenly flying cars make some sense systemically. Before this, I certainly thought of flying cars as personal helicopters, taking you from point to point. But of course that becomes an air traffic control nightmare. Much better to adapt a known system that puts the onus of control to the operators.

Less successful are the road signs. Continue reading

Flying cars

The DeLorean car plays a significant role in all three films since it is the time travel machine. At the end of the first film, we’’re shown a brief scene (that is repeated at the beginning of the second film) that reveals that the vehicle has been modified so that it flies. Even its modified form it is largely like a car from the period. The driver or pilot manually drives the vehicle with no software assistance or heads-up-display.

I might have strong opinions about the controls of a car being poorly mapped to manage flight, but since this is a hacked-together prototype from materials at hand, it’s less a design problem than a matter of circumstance.