The Jetsons Are Coming

You might remember George & Jane Jetson of Orbit City. The couple and their family lived in Orbit City and came to our attention in the 1962-63 television season on ABC TV. In the animated production, the Jetsons used a variety of futuristic devices, including a personal helicopter.

Workhorse Group of Cincinnati is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to begin production of its personal helicopter in 2019. Dubbed the Surefly, the two-seat device uses electric vertical takeoff and landing technology and is expected to sell for about $200,000. Test flights already are under way.

Interested customers can make a $1,000 deposit at to reserve one.

Commuters expect they can cut two-hour commutes to about 10 minutes with the Surefly, which has a cruising speed of up to 70 miles per hour. It can travel for more than two hours using battery power combined with a small engine. The device is about the size of a sedan.

Workhorse Group already produces a delivery drone, dubbed the Horsefly.

The Japanese government has launched a campaign to bring together companies and public agencies in a push to have similar vehicles aloft in the next decade. In the United States, ride service Uber announced an initiative last year to create flying vehicles.

Noise, flight paths and landing spots are among the problems posed by personal helicopters. But the time saved in commuting is likely to push the growth of the concept.

Love Affair with Cars May Be Ending

Six decades after the launch of America’s interstate highway system, changing habits and attitudes suggest America’s romance with the road is fading. Driving rose almost continuously since World War II, but driving by U.S. households has declined nearly 10 percent since 2004. Since the decline began well before the Great Recession, economics doesn’t appear to be the only cause.

“There’s something more fundamental going on,” says Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Consider these points:

57chevyThe average American household now owns fewer than two cars, returning to the levels of the early 1990s. This may signal a change in home-building, too, as there is less need for three-car garages.

More teens and 20-somethings are waiting to get a license. Less than 70 percent of 19-year-olds now have one, down from 87 percent two decades ago.

Thousands of people are commuting by bicycle rather than by car. In Minneapolis, for example, about 3,500 people bike to work daily via the Midtown Greenway. That’s double the number of bicycle commuters in 2000.

Online shopping has reduced the number of car trips for shopping.

A record 10.7 billion mass transit rides were taken by Americans last year, a 37 percent increase since 1995. Light rail continues to expand in many cities and ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber, are further denting the need to own an automobile.

The number of drive-ins – whether featuring car hops serving food or giant outdoor movie screens – have sharply declined as Americans drive less.

The number of teens taking drivers education has declined by 40 percent as state subsidies are eliminated and the need to take drivers ed to earn a high school diploma is dropped.

Heck, you don’t even need to own a vehicle to bring your things to Dino’s Storage – we rent trucks at many of our locations, so just give us a call.