By 2080, more people will be traveling by air than by roads and many roads and highways will become “little used”. Individual flying vehicles that do not need runways will become prevalent. The equivalent of flying “buses” will become more prevalent, carrying up to 10 people into cities for commuting. These vehicles will act more like helicopters do. (Added 8/10/05)
We could see the beginnings of these as early as 2028, with prototypes and experimental novelty crafts being used. Use will increase like many emerging technologies and will eventually become the transportation of choice for regular travelers. (8/3/06) Into the 2030’s to 2040’s, we’ll see a slight increase of these vehicles, still as novelty, with the bugs being worked out with how to regulate the airspace and how air traffic controllers will be involved. By 2050, there will be a noticeable increase in these flying vehicles to the point that 50% of the vehicles will be ground based and 50% will be air based. As the decades progress, use of these vehicles will progress – in much the same way that automobiles increased throughout the early 20th century. (Added 8/3/06)
A note to developers of this technology: Success will come to those that adapt technology to fit human patterns of current behavior, and not to those that believe they would have to change human patterns to fit the technology. Smaller commuter vehicles for commuting humans will offer the most market opportunities – possibly 1 or 2 person vehicles. (Added 12/12/2006)
A large surge to integrate this technology will come around 2032-2034, based on government regulations helping to promote the use of this technology. There will be much support for this across the nation. The world will be watching to see how it progresses in the US. There will be companies in Europe that will be competing but still the US will be the one, other countries are watching. This technology’s “Model T” will come around 2035-2037, meaning many of the “Beta” models will be sold during this time. Another surge of purchases will come in 2045, possibly 2044.