Monday, October 31, 2016

Jetsons here we come!

Who are the Jetsons?

George Jetson had the greatest car ever when I was ten and now UBER is planning on taking commuting to the sky. Yup, you read that right they want to introduce VTOL aircraft "vertical take-off and landing" crafts to make commuting safer and cleaner.
According to Futurism. com "the concept is simple: Uber plans to provide a cost-effective and efficient ridesharing service in the sky. Commuters will ride a 'network of small, electric [VTOL aircraft] that will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities,' according to Uber’s paper. Not only that, this service is green as Uber’s VTOLs will run on electric propulsion systems with zero operational emissions."
What about infrastructure? Easy. Uber VTOLs can take use roofs, existing parking structures, helipads, and unused land around freeways for vertistops or vertiports.

But what is this going to cost? "Uber believes VTOL trips won’t be expensive. Initial estimates of a VTOL ride from San Francisco’s Marina to downtown San Jose is $129 and could drop as low as $20 in the long term. An equivalent two-hour Uber X ride between the two destinations currently costs $111."

Well, I don't know about you, but I can't wait. Can you envision a day when you are ridesharing over the freeways of the Bay Area to work or school? Do you think it will relieve congestion? Can you see how the stuff of science fiction leads to future technological developments?

37 comments:

  1. The idea of a VTOL is really big, but sounds interesting. I have never thought of the idea of being flown through the air to a close city or destination rather than just driven. Since I did not watch this show, i am a little unfamiliar with the way the VTOL would work. I also wonder how it would work traffic- wise. Would we have certain rules to follow? What if their are too many drivers/pilots in the air at the same time? Is there a greater chance of a flight accident? I do not see myself flying to SF. I would be in a state of panic thinking that at any time the VTOL could fall or hit something high up. If this is possible, it would be great for people to take advantage if they really need the resource, but we also have to think of dangers and possible outcomes of using this resource.

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  2. VTOL's sound like fun and pretty complex. I can't wait for new inventions in transportation in the next couple of years, but of getting into a small aircraft taking me around doesn't seem ideal. Transportation through air (besides planes) is complex because there are many things that can go wrong, although its not much safer with the vehicles today, the VTOL's could crash or have some sort of malfunction. I believe we should try the VTOL's and see how safe they are and have lots of test runs before anyone uses them. Hopefully in after some time they will be reliable and good way of transportation, but until then I would not see myself using a VTOL.

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  3. In my oceanology class we constantly talk about the environment and how pollution effects our day to day life.My professor constantly reminds us that there is simply no hope for the future with our current carbon foot print. This article gives some hope that companies are becoming more innovative in an environmentally friendly way. Not only does Ubers plan help the environment it also seems like a way more efficient way of travel for long distant commuters. I could envision my self using this when I visit my boyfriend in Tracy, because there is just too much traffic going from Hayward to the valley. The only thing I am slightly worried about is these flying machines crash landing into my living room.

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  4. The idea of flying in the sky at a low price sounds absolutely amazing and perhaps too good to be true. For something like this, I would feel uneasy if Uber released it so soon since there isn't really anything like it out there. For example, taxis have already existed before uber and cars have been around for a long time, so nearly everyone is familiar with it and knows how traffic works and risks associated with it. There are stop lights and police to keep the flow of traffic and to keep others safe, however, how does that work in the sky? Who will be flying these VTOLs? What happens when two VTOLs crash and how is traffic controlled? The idea behind Uber is that everyday people drive other everyday people for a cheaper price, however, would the same idea apply to VTOLs? To be in the air requires a different type of license and those are not as common as driving license. So, even though this does sound wonderful, I would prefer that Uber spread more information about VTOLs so that the general public can familiarize themselves with itand not worry so much because it is unknown.

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  5. Being able to go to work or school in a flying car would be like a dream come true. I never saw The Jetsons growing up, so whenever I think of flying cars or anything futuristic I think of Back to the Future. And we're getting closer and closer to the fictional technology that many people have seen in movies and tv shows. The VTOL idea is definitely a huge step, of course something like this is going to be pricey at first but once it starts becoming the norm and the prices go down I might actually use an Uber for once. I believe this idea will even calm down traffic, especially in the bay area. Sounds very efficient and convenient and I really hope to see these things around someday. Someday all these science-fiction toys and gadgets won't be science fiction anymore.

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  6. The VTOL sounds like a pretty nifty invention especially since Uber has been a new source for rides. Our environment is important and we must protect it, using gas and driving cars whit list creating smog will harm the earth. Using this new clean form of transportation sounds like a good place to start, its clean and cheap which will attract more people to use VTOL. The flying aircraft will definitely benefit commuters and will clear up the roads, flying above the traffic will be much easier since there is not much up in the air. Commuters will also share the VTOL together which is a more efficient way to get around and smarter, imagine a highway full of cars bumper to bumper with one person in each car. Sounds complicated right? But, with VTOL you can fit several people in one aircraft quickly minimizing the cars on the highway and the smog in the air. I can see myself using VTOL since I live in San Jose and attend school in Hayward, this invention could be so beneficial to the Bay Area and commuters as a whole. I would use VTOL almost everyday if it was an option in the future getting to school and back would be easier and quicker especially for a busy schedule. Riding in the VTOL would not only be a smarter way to get around but its actually pretty cool looking and feeling as well. Who doesn't want to ride in a hovering aircraft,look cool, and commute at the same time? I am so happy that science fiction is helping us pioneer the newest inventions for today, it is smart, original and helpful to us and our Earth. Thanks Mr. Jetson.

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  7. Using flying cars to go to and from school would be an amazing achievement. Looking out the window and being with birds and the clouds would be stress relieving and I would just want to stay in the car as long as I can. And if commuters use this method of transportation it can lessen traffic and parking space on school grounds which would just benefit everyone. Not just that but since it is a flying aircraft it would encourage people to ride in the vehicle together so more carpools. However, the only aspect of flying cars that has me worried is the price. While getting a ride from someone who has a flying car is cheaper than buying one yourself it can still be pricey than what normal Uber drivers charge. The price is what might push away some commuters but if it's a reasonable price then it can be possible. Flying cars would be a remarkable achievement and it would benefit commuters and normal drivers in many various ways.

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  8. I believe that going places in an aircraft seem very cool but the initial pricing seem very expensive to many people at the moment. In the future when technology has advanced to the point where they can efficiently use these methods then there will probably be no need to use Uber's VTOL aircrafts because they will most likely be made like cars and be as common. These futuristic machines are most wanted now but the ride will become equivalent as a car ride the more one uses it. Imagination is the key of bringing objects from science fiction to real life. With lots of hard work and dedication anything is possible.

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  9. I am in love with the idea of VTOL Uber! I believe it will be very effective and efficient. Flying is much quicker and easier to get to any destination. Being in the air rather than on the road is safer. Flying will decrease freeway congestion and traffic collisions. In my opinion, I've seen less flying accidents than car accidents. Also, it is admirable that the company is encouraging going green with these air crafts being ran on an electric system.
    This new service also seems very convenient by being able to land of roof tops and helipads. I would assume that the landing site would be as close as possible to your desired location. My only concern is the fares. As of now, Uber increases prices during prime business hours. Would this apply to this system as well or would it be a flat rate ride?

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  10. In today's society everyone commutes with cars and people tend to crash majority of the time because they are in a hurry to get somewhere. However that can all change with the ATL, it is a fast transportation flying vehicle and it is very cheap. Due to the facts about the ATL I believe that the ATL will make society a better place because people do not have to hurry to get to places fast or possibly waking up early to commute somewhere. The ATL is not just about the fast transportation but, better for the environment because cars produce smog and it is harmful. The ATL does not have any similarities because they fly with nothing to harm the environment.

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  11. The idea of being able to fly to work rather than commuting in traffic sounds great! Uber VTOL's will allow people to get to a desired location in a timely fashion. Less cars on the road will make the freeway less congested and decrease the number of traffic collisions.While plane crashes happen less frequently than traffic collisions they do happen occasionally,this may be a concern for some customers. I think it's awesome that the VTOL's will run on electric systems with zero emissions.This UBER service will make life easier for everyone. Will the pricing go up during peek hours as they do with the current UBER services ? Depending on how the pricing works some may find it to be too expensive.

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  13. To be honest Uber VTOL's sounds like a great and would be a game changer for commuting. Lets say that we do end up having these VTOL's who would be the controllers of these would there be a traffic control towers like the airplanes have in airports? People tend to drive crazy when in a hurry on land and end up in a collision as a end result how can it be any different in the air above houses, people, cars, building. Would a VTOL just come burning down into your backyard when they crash? Sometime to thing about think about deeply because no one wants to give up their life for a few minutes or hours of being stuck in traffic. If talking about eco friendly then purchase a Prius, Tesla, or any of those Zero Emission cars. In the end there are pros and cons to the story but I think more brainstorming is needed.

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  14. VTOL sounds very useful and I am not surprised that Uber wants to do this. It was going to happen eventually with technology advancing so quickly in the last 5-8 years. I think it would be even more effective if it was one of the cheaper options of transportation because people could get to their destination faster and at a lesser value. So far it seems as though they have everything figured out as far as where it would land and prices, but now we just have to see if it actually will get approved and be a success. Although this is a smart idea, VTOL has to be tested many times before boarding customers because this could easily be the cause of many more accidents.

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  16. VTOL sounds like a convenient way of transportation and it would be more useful and effective with lower prices. I personally take uber to school and it can be expensive at times but by lowering the prices with new transportation it will gather more peoples attention.

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  17. VTOL sounds like a very innovative way to find alternatives to the very known saying "uber everywhere". Not only does it provide cleaner options that can clear up the skies, it can help in clearing up traffic. Being a resident of the bay area, I know all too well the dread of being caught up in gridlock traffic during rush hour (which can last several hours). VTOL is basically an alternate route. Think of it as an express lane in the sky. The possibilities are endless, and maybe people will start to prefer VTOL over other ride services. It is like the smart car of the future and I am looking forward to using it.

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  18. I think that VTOL sounds like a good idea. I believe it will relieve congestion because it is providing another efficient transportation (like BART or airplanes). Uber is a go to option for people who don't have a last minute ride or just don't want to drive, so this would be another useful way of traveling. It's pretty cool to me how someone came up with this idea. I can see how science fiction leads to the development of technology and transportation. If it is a reasonable price, and it can get you somewhere quick, then this will be popular.

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  19. We are constantly improving technology. Technology inventors probably take a lot of their ideas from shows and figure out how to bring them to real life. One of the biggest problems we have is traffic and pollution. If a VTOL could help reduce all the traffic on the ground that would be very helpful. They seem like they came up with every aspect to make this possible, but they would also have to figure out how to regulate the traffic in the sky since it is not just planes and helicopters up there anymore. Could anybody who wants to and has the right license fly a VTOL, similar to how to become a Uber drive now?

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  20. I think that VTOL sounds like a good idea but skeptical on how great of an idea it really is. The price to use it can be quite expensive and I do not think that many people want to pay $129 just to uber. I think it can relieve congestions a little bit but at the same time the city will always be congested no matter what because there are always people trying to get to the same place at the same time. There is really no way of actually relieving congestion completely. The idea of VTOL is nice but the safety of it is kind of concerning. I feel like it would take years to get it right for people to start using it. I understand how science fiction can lead to technological advancements but we have to remember that it is based on fiction. It was not real to begin with so if scientist want to make VTOL a reality I feel that they need to work on it for a while to make sure that it is something that is safe and reliable.

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  21. Just thinking about flying to any place in the Bay makes me very hopeful for technological advancement in the future. I hope that Uber is able to implement this within my lifetime, because it is definitely something I want to experience. VTOL's seem very efficient in getting from point A to point B, since all they have to do is fly in a straight line in the direction of your destination. As the cost of this service starts to go down and becomes more available to people, I think that freeways will start to see less traffic. This can also help commuters, since they won't be sitting in traffic for very long. Parking spots will be more available on school grounds if students decide to use this service more often than commuting. Uber's idea of making VTOL's run on electric systems and have zero emissions is a great way to help keep our environment clean as well. However, if there are a lot of VTOL's flying around, there has to be some main hub that keeps track of their locations, right? This technology seems amazing now, but safety will always be an issue. Uber's idea of having VTOL's for ridesharing is great, but there should be a system put in place that let's pilots know if they are within close proximity of another pilot to reduce collisions and accidents.

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  22. For the longest time, I've secretly hoped for VTOLs to be a reality. Now that Uber is planning on doing it, I'm super excited to see what they come up with. I hate the traffic here in the Bay Area as it would take me two times longer to get to my destination than usual. I believe VTOL will be a better option for those who want or need to get somewhere fast for an affordable price. The wait for the ride wouldn't be as long, traffic would be reduced, parking spots won't be as full, and it would overall be good for the environment. However, my only concern would be the safety of the VTOLs. A number of things could happen while boarders are in the sky so Uber must think of multiple emergency situations before actually putting it into play. You wouldn't want to run into the same problems with VTOLs as down below or maybe even cause new problems.

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  23. The idea of VTOLs to turn into a reality would be most useful in congested areas like the Bay Area or New York. Although it's meant to reduce congestion and collisions, there will still be risks. In the sky there are no stop lights, stop signs, or traffic police directing where to go. There are speed limits on land but not in the air. You must be 21 to become an Uber driver with a clean record, but what are the requirements to drive a VTOL? Not all Uber drivers drive safe on land so they may go crazy in the air and follow sayings such as "the sky has no limit." If VTOLs were to crash in the air, then they would fall from the sky rather than stay in place on land which is more dangerous. I would rather be stuck in traffic on land than risk falling from the sky.

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  24. In my opinion I believe that this idea of VTOLs would be great. It would be great because it would provide people with better access and faster ways to get to their destination without having to waste long hours in traffic. I can absolutely envision myself riding on a VTOl just to have fun and have that experience and to get to my destination in a faster and more efficient way. VTOLs would be great because they cause no pollution to the environment like cars running on fuel. I absolutely believe VTOls will relieve congestion because they are energy efficient and do not run on no emission fuel that causes harm and pollution to an ecosystem. I am aware that throughout the years more things will start to evolve and better traveling options will occur like this VTOLs uber transportation aircraft. I believe this idea is great and should be taken into action because it will not only save our communities and cities from pollution but it will create a better and safer transportation for people across countries or the Bay.

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  25. The idea of VTOLs is a great but I believe it will take too long for them to be able to fully develop the idea. As much as I would like to see them succeed with it I do think that by the time they can fully develop the idea to where it is safe enough to take, that Uber will be a thing of the past and some new company will be taking over for them. I myself do not take Uber so I do not think it will affect me if they do create VTOLs. However I do know many people that take Uber and travel pretty far distances with it, so I feel like many people would be happier with the VTOLs when they are developed because it would make their travel time shorter. If VTOLs are created it may raise a few questions like how much more expensive will it be to travel with them with VTOLs, Will they discontinue their cars on the ground and is there a limit as to how far you can travel with VTOLs? Overall I think it is a great idea for them to create VTOLs and they should try to complete their project as soon as they can to minimize the risk of another company taking over.

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  26. This idea is an extremely interesting one for sure. UBER moving to the air is definitely futuristic and plays in the idea of "The Jetsons" cartoon. Honestly, I believe this would be beneficial to congestion on the highways and relieve many daily headaches for many people in society, it may even reduce stress levels. Although, it would be really cool to fly place to place in little to no time, it seems that pollution would rise due to how much fuel VTOL would use to go that much faster; plus, VTOL is mainly aimed towards those without a car or accessible transportation so those who couldn’t afford it or have daily drivers would still be on the road. Also, what regulations would be applied? Are they going to have to follow air craft regulations and pathways, as planes do? The idea is great but personally I am not pleased by this envision of ride sharing over freeways.

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  27. At this very moment, this idea seems extremely dangerous to me. Yes, its definitely cool what Uber is trying to accomplish but it's going to take a few years in order to get it secured. They're saying they're trying to make riding more clean and safer, well something hovering in the sky, that can fall if any malfunctions occurs sounds pretty dangerous to me. And i cant even imagine the amount of money its going to take for them reach this goal. Props to Uber if this gets done efficiently, because as of now it seems like a crazy, cool, extreme idea. Although it most definitely could cure traffic in the bay area, everyones been through it and knows the struggle and clearing the traffic is probably one of the first things they'd think of at the thought of this idea. Something else that it would help is the co2 emissions, but it all depends on what this flying car thing will be powered by. What I'm most curious about is if theres going to be laws and rules the way their are laws for when you're driving, if there were Im completely OUT. I can't even pass my drivers test, I can't imagine having to take some test for a flying car.

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  28. Technology never fails to amaze me. I think that sky commuting is the greatest idea in the field of transportation. There will be less to no traffic at all, making commuters never late to their destinations. It looks like a win win according to the article. It is cheap and accessible. It is easier to transport people on wheelchairs and people with disabilities.I think this will be so beneficial for the bay area knowing its notorious traffic jams.Technology is improving everyday and I cannot wait for more future tech to be discovered and released.

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  29. I believe that flying cars is very amazing but also somewhat frightening. Imagine the whole world just coming to this conclusion that everyone will fly to get to a place. Wouldn’t one get traffic up in the sky? I mean what about signal lights in the sky or safety signs? I believe that it can be very dangerous to do this so I feel like it will take time for humans to shift to this change. Technology has advanced very quickly but for many this would be a larger risk. Although, I have always fantasized about being able to fly myself around and look at the views from above. I believe that Uber is a great company that has advanced from taxis and has resulted very beneficial for many. I wonder if the world will end up with flying cars and I hope I am still here to witness it.

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  30. I for one find this article to be extremely interesting. At first thought the idea of anyone being able to commute locally via aircraft sounds absurd. However Uber is making that idea a reality. If this indeed gets approved and becomes available to the public, commute times would be virtually cut in half and transportation would be re envisioned. Technology has come an incredible way from just ten years ago. We are now able to order cars to pick us up from wherever we desire, and now in the near possible future we will be able to call air crafts to come pick us up from wherever our location may be. The only thing I wonder is how many VTOL's there will be, with this idea coming to reality I can only imagine how many people will want to try it out. With Uber's new idea, our skies are going to be a whole lot more crowded.

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  31. If this is true this will be amazing. Amazing for workers, riders, and people that love to look in the sky. However it is hard to believe that VTOLs will be simple and not too expensive, it sounds like a lot of resources need to go in to pull something like that off. A bunch of new safety laws and test, permits and regulation, ect. So as off right now I am a little uncertain but if these are everything that they are hyped up to be I am extremely excited for the future. I have always dreamed for flying cars and what they can do for us. Less land traffic, commute times, and people on bart. Hopefully they are ecofriendly but that is for a different dicussion.

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  32. Flying cars have been one of my dream inventions that I hope we humans will create. The concept is just so cool. Think about whizzing through the skies and seeing the landscape around you from a bird's eye view. With Uber introducing the concept of VTOL, that imagination seems closer than ever. However, I am concerned in not the cost of the cars, rather the system that Uber needs to implement if we can find driving in the skies practical. We would need aerial roads, aerial signs, aerial driving laws, and people policing the skies. We would need the government to approve that heavy of a fund to be met. Sorry, Mr. Jetson, we'll have to experience your reality at a much later time.

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  33. "What about infrastructure? Easy."
    Although the idea of VTOL transport sounds incredible (I hate everything about driving, cars, and traffic), this statement is pretty far from the truth. The implementation of something like this, let alone the widespread use starting from $129, is probably buried beneath decades of research, engineering problems, manufacturing deals, and probably a few extra centuries of laws and regulations (although Google's self-driving cars hit the roads much faster than I was expecting). These problems hit new theoretical technologies which are much less complex and with less of a possible impact on society than this. I try not to get my hopes up for technology like this to hit the market anytime soon, because most of the time it ends up falling somewhere between "development hell" and "vaporware" (in which it falls off the face of the earth completely). Sadly I'd have to bet I'll die of old age or from a car accident before I can conveniently park a VTOL on my roof

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  34. The idea of flying cars is crazy to even think about. While i was reading this article i was trying to think of multiple ways in which all the "Haters" could complain. but the idea is solid and should be easy to get off the ground (Pun intended). They have thought of it all except for just traffic within the air, but assuming they will be using radars. The idea should be successful, but a little grace period will be needed eventually just to get all their ducks in a row. Uber is doing all they can to relieve all stress of traveling and their company is only trying to help the people. For example they made the cost to fly, relatively the same as it would cost to drive, just the drive is longer.

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  35. It is nice to know that instead of being just a ride service, Uber is taking it to the next level by innovating. As I was reading this article an idea of a VTOL sounds pretty fun and I also thought to myself about how it would be like I were to ride in one. This whole idea should be successful since it will help out many people get where they want and faster. It can also be entertaining, fast, and efficient. This invention can change the way we live and it is flattering to know that Uber actually cares about the experience of their costumers and wants to improve unlike other competing companies. This is a relief to its costumer and it will be beneficial since after the change Uber will get many more costumers. This blog did a clever job by comparing the new inventions to the Jestons capsule so everyone can kind of get an image and relate.

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  36. As convenient as this will be I think it's a terrible idea. I for one don't want to see the sky as congested as freeways. If anything I'd like to see the future of transportation focus more on making transportation services discrete and out of sight, as opposed to more visible...and most likely more audible as well. I think there are also probably huge environmental impacts from having a constant flow of billions of vehicles roaming the skies.
    I'd also like to point out that the little known reason that the Jetson's "world of the future" was high above the clouds was because pollution had made the earth's surface uninhabitable. They allude to this a few times in very off-hand remarks, and never come right out and say that humans had destroyed the planet, but the writers have stated that that was the case.
    I just think that is something interesting to think about when considering how fun and cool the Jetson's world seemed.

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  37. As a molecular biologist, a lot of chemistry has been undergone in the last decade. A lot of reading too, but not as much as any English loving individuals. I love when people say something can be made hybrid, but still powered on electricity. The coal burned to run a hybrid car versus the coal burned to run a normal electric car or power every electrical socket in every single location on this Earth is exactly the same, because it is the same, mined from the same beheaded mountain in some picturesque nature. But at least it's hybrid. 1 Joule is equal to 96486 coulombs of energy. Consider 1 calorie is 4.18J so almost 400000 coulombs of energy in just 1 calorie and the average diet is 2000 calories. Energy consumption grows exponentially as its demand is increased and gravity will never decrease. Achieving vertical liftoff today requires massive jet fueled vehicles that can only effectively be launched out the atmosphere. The Jetsons did not rely on nuclear energy nor did they transfer electrons around nor burn fossils. Their energy simply existed, just as they did in a cartoon, while ours does like gravity.

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