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The US Army hopes, within a few years, to deploy a plasma shield — a machine that generates a protective screen of dazzling mid-air explosions — to stun and disorient an enemy.
The device uses a technology known as dynamic pulse detonation (DPD). A short but intense laser pulse creates a ball of plasma, and a second laser pulse generates a supersonic shockwave with the plasma to generate a bright flash and a loud bang.
The viewpoints between aviation and automotive buffs seem to be missing some basic points about the operation of "flying cars":
People will not fly it, the onboard computer will.
No aircar will be able to fly outside of the defined 3D airlanes (think multi-level tunnels through the air), designated and computer-controlled by the FAA (or possibly NASA).
Regular vehicle maintenance will be required and enforced by the onboard computers.
Catastrophic engine failure is mitigated with parachute airfoils.
System hacking attempts will be prevented by hardwired security measures. (Multiple interlocking security features will be needed to prevent capable "hobbyists" from circumventing these for personal and/or illegal reasons.)
People who willfully violate the flight rules and/or hack the systems will be quickly removed from the airspace either by remote pilot override or air-to-air missile in extreme cases, i.e., criminals or terrorists.
The car people are bringing out all the wrong analogies of bad drivers, DMV licensure, etc.
The aviation people are bring out all the wrong analogies of pilot training and requirements.
Flying cars will NOT have the autonomy of regular cars and they will NOT require the rigorous pilot training needed for true aircraft. These vehicles will need to be rigorously computer-controlled for them to be allowed into use. Any other mode of operation leads to chaos (car-centric autonomy) or overly-strict training requirements (as in current light plane aviation). Now, this does not preclude the ability to have a real pilots licensure capability that would allow for "off-roading" as it were by licensed pilots. This could have the additional benefit of either lowering light plane cost-of-entry or replacing that class of aircraft entirely.