Early former AWE company now to save a billion people an hour a day

I’d guess most people here don’t know, or don’t remember, way back when one of the most well-regarded supposedly-nascent AWE companies was called Joby, in the company of big stars like Makani, Altaeros, and of course, the most famous of them all, “The Magenn Power Air Rotar System (MARS)”. Anyway, Joby started out as an AWE effort, which got fairly well-publicized, but the next thing you know, they (wisely?) gave up on AWE, and started just selling the electric motors. Well, after that, they transitioned again, to developing a human-carrying electric drone-like aircraft. Today it hit the financial channel - supposedly worth several billion dollars, they “will” have this jetson-esque electric aircraft in regular service by 2024.
Their website indicates early projected use for transporting people from, say, Hollywood and Newport Beach to Los Angeles Airport (LAX).
The founder, JoeBen Bevirt, says they will save a billion people an hour a day.

What do you think?
And now, back to our regularly-scheduled program… :slight_smile:

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Joby Aviation got the best of AWE.

“saving a billion people”? o.O That claim was just thrown in there without any context. What are they referring to?

If you lived here in Southern California, (or Washington DC, or parts of China, etc.), traffic is a HUGE problem. Many people here in California spend HOURS per day sitting on the freeways, barely even moving. Yes I mean HOURS! The freeways are like a two-hundred-mile-long parking lot, with up to ten lanes or more in each direction in some places. Not unusual to keep coming to a complete stop, over and over again. (Where I grew up, if you were stuck in traffic for five minutes, you’d be telling everyone about it and it would make the news). Anyway, for anyone who has sat in traffic for hours on end, wishing your car had helicopter capabilities, his meaning is obvious: the idea is this giant electric drone will become so popular, in such widespread use, that a billion people worldwide will fly in them, avoiding on average an hour per day of getting stuck in traffic jams.
Since it requires one pilot for every four passengers, I guess that means that 250 million people would have jobs flying them. Heck that’s only the entire adult population of the United States, all hired as pilots for these drones. Are we feeling it yet? Like this is really going to happen? Hmmm…
And wait a minute - 250 million people spending all day as pilots - isn’t that just as bad as the billion people sitting in traffic for an hour a day? Where is the improvement in total man-hours wasted? Hmmmm…
Now that I moved up to the edge of the Mojave Desert, I love the fact that we have very little traffic up here. What a relief. (Even here though, so many people just want to leave the state entirely, and many are) But traffic coming up here every weekday afternoon is very heavy and slow. Hours. Just sitting, hitting your brakes for hours. Still, once you are up here in “the high desert”, you breathe a sigh of relief - clean, crisp, fresh air, and lots of open space. Plus we are right next to the mountains. I found myself going skiing again today. I think I’ve skied and snowboarded more days than not, so far this season, which started in November. The cool thing is, you are still in Southern California - looking down at Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean from 8200 feet elevation from the snowy peaks, I drive back down and in just a few minutes it is 70 degrees (room temperature for Celsius people) and a beautiful sunny summer-like day. I almost feel guilty just saying it (sigh). Wearing a hat and sunscreen helps.
Anyway, we have so much wind up here on some days it seems like an almost-hurricane, so it is great for wind energy, almost no clouds, ever, so at 3600 feet we have a fantastic solar resource - bottom line I don’t think there is a better place for clean energy.
Anyway, when I watched that video, there was something about the tone of JoeBen’s voice that seemed like he really did not quite believe what he was saying. I suppose we should stay tuned. He is like a billionaire or something. Through an intern or underling he had invited me over to his compound on the coast after the first High Altitude Wind Power Conference in 2009, but I was so disappointed with all the people who showed up that I went to visit a wealthy actress at her mansion in Sacramento who had always liked me instead. I probably should have gone over to check things out at Joby - who knows?