Self-Driving Flying Car Meetup

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Praxis (Session) #1 Agenda:

Current Attendees:

<n> John, passionate karaoke and community building </n> Karthik, passionate about mechanical things that move -- planes, trains, automobiles, worked on cars and bikes for fun and professionally Mayur, passionate about robots, something interested him when he was younger Farley, not sure about what he's passionate about, maybe educational software, might be overrated Griffin, building useful systems Benjamin, cofounded a tech cult, passionate about filmmaking and art, designer and startups, music (house/techno) compositions and software Chris, passionate about art and lighting, educational lighting architecture and human computer interaction, didn't want to go into tech but ended up there anyway Quinn, engineering manager, software, and physics and art Guru, passionate about flying in general Dylan, passionate about aviation Chingxiao, passionate about electronics and classical music, plays piano

Design session:

Mayur: telemetry system for communication and tracking the placement of flying apparatus, used in the military and commerical systems (is there room in the frequency spectrum to communicate -- difficult to get cellular coverage, buildings and mountains will block cellular signal <- Karthik), frequency selection, channels..etc. (margin of error <-- Benjamin)

Quinn: around the Peninsula over the water for safety reasons, evolutionary flight of animals, biomimcry --> looking at dragonflies, gnats, flies and seagulls --> what are the biomechanics of flight

John: talked about what might be important -- air traffic control, route planning and optimization, traffic monitoring system, charging and refueling stations should be readily available, electric or fuel, maintanence and safety, and setting up an infrastructure, individual owning or city wide transportation, government licensing, pilot's license, emergency landing zones, lastly, public outreach

Benjamin: what is a flying car? major question -- launch pad, known destination(?), flow chart (--> what should it look like), four major questions --> who is flying it? where is it flying? where does launch from? helipad.. runway.. can it land anywhere where does it land (what's the surface and what is the medium through where it is flying)

Guru: flying drone, autonomous, toying around with the idea of flying cars, saw a flying car 6/7 years ago at Oshkosh <--> Air Ventures (aviation conference), problem/solution --> when they scale up, they are bound to be autonomous and need to communicate with each other, swarm behavior, how will it work? what will the protocols look like, will need radars and cameras, build a right of way protocol, autonomous traffic management, some thoughts on propulsion/lift (drones are good for urban spaces, but limited range, foldable wings are good for long distances), for scaling, the traffic management system will be important.

Dylan: three phase plan --> safety is important, eco-pod-quad-copter, carries two people.. please see design (there's at least 250 companies that do prototyping, no background in manufacturing), crash in the metlife building ended human flying cars, killed the whole business, concord crash also killed a lot of people (John: flying cars have to do with personal vehicles, that's what people are thinking about, systems are difficult) you can build an experimental car that flies, but what we're building is something with infrastructure, fundamentally different fear if it is a mass system as opposed to a personal vehicle, we just need better highspeed railway not flying cars, flying cars is a novelty (Benjamin: Henry Ford --> what do people want? faster horses, it's important to develop technology for flying cars/systems, from a marketing perspective for a city, it'd be awesome to have a flagship flying system), be aware of Hindenberg and Titanic, Quinn --> I'm into pushing technology forward

Chingxiao: thinking about cars -- cars look a certain way and work a certain way for a reason, quadcopter functionality, similar to drones, foldable rotors onto the top of the car, propellers (<-- Karthik) should be foldable, this is inspiring (<-- Quinn)

Karthik: I think historically my opinion has been cynical, but I tried to be more optimistic, so I thought about the lanes and the types of flight (upper atmosphere flight, orbit, commerical flight, recreation and commercial flight) and also, thinking about how the helicopter is already a flying car, personally a big advocate of public mass transportation, who is using it, who is able to.. and who needs this type of transportation, how to control traffic, Star Wars vs. over water, Star Wars-esque might be better, like in the Jetsons, puddle jumper, Alaskan Village to Alaskan Village, background is in propulsion, how much energy does it take to be fast on the ground vs the sky, any fast bird would not be fast on the ground, flying suits (?), should it need to fly and travel over ground, cable cars, interesting questions are like is it important to create a mode of transportation that can travel well on the ground in addition to the air, a car has airbags, a ship has maybe floatation devices, what are the safety gadgets for a flying car? small nuclear reactors? limited use ferry or hovercraft (Benjamin) everything comes back to energy

Thanks for coming guys!! <3 <3 <3

Prep: Come with some media, ideas, or just a sense of wonder, inspiration, and get-to-it-ness.

(0) Minutes 0-5: intros
(1) Minutes 5-20: designing an autonomous flying car system on paper for fun, whatever that means to you, could be a computer system, could be an actual design.
(2) Minutes 20-45: discuss designs
(3) Minutes 45-50: ~break~
(4) Minutes 50-85: discuss mass transportation infrastructure throughout history 
(5) Minutes 85-95: Venice/Dubai trip discussion (March? April? May?)
(6) Minutes 95-100: ~break~
(7) Minutes 100-130: discuss and review clips from different "futuristic" movies
(8) Minutes 130-150: freeform 
(9) Minutes 150-180: mandatory visit to f8 for clubbing and dance (jk, it just happens to be free and open at 10pm on Sundays, can also stay with wine and cheese)

Praxis #1 Accomplished:

Introductions Design Sessions Videos/Media/Pop-Culture -Back to the Future (Dylan --> also happens to be a time machine???) -Star Wars -Dune

Praxis #1 Notes: Great Design Session, next session: look into the energy basis of flying cars, how much energy do we need for the transportation system?

EDIT: NO MEETING ON 1/21 --> take time to work on "how much energy do we need for the transportation system"


Lout Virder ( mechanical engineer, works out of Alameda on thermal batteries, heard about meetup through meetup, looking for fun projects in the city and this might one Zhanxi "Quinn" Ni ( running for Mayor on flying car platform Mars Nadal ( dealt with state/federal Supreme Court, have 60million users on his startup, education and economics Kurt Peek ( I rock climb Charlene Smith ( I would like systematic bridges of traffic by Waymo, maybe Waymo will be the top company for streaming autonomous cars


Lout: blimp or helicopter or propellers, good things happening with propellers and silent propellers, need to read more papers about it Kurt: I interviewed at Uber Elevate, at the time I was looking at futuristic companies to work for Lout: third spaces -- the other place you can go to Lout: Things like an underground monorail or suspended monorail would be good because there is a predetermined path. Also, it takes a lot of energy to get off the ground and mass transit systems usually have to do with getting the most people around for the least amount of energy. Watch out for lowering the budget where parts will fall into disrepair. Quinn: Cable cars started in San Francisco in the 1800's. We should have a new mass transit system. Lout: Both New York and London have extremely outdated mass transit systems and there's still millions of people using it every single day. Lout: Even a drone taxi system would be cool. It's one of those things that is fun to think about. Especially across the Bay, it's a large stretch of space to do something with. Quinn: Something around the peninsula would be cool. Lout: The entire Sunset is difficult to park and get to. It'd be nice to get something out there. Quinn: The N goes out there. Lout: Yeah, that's the only one. In general, there's a lot of fun stuff out there -- the beach..etc. Have you considered Hydrofoil Taxis? I think they're a awesome concept that I think is underutilized. Quinn: Yea! I love SailGP Lout: Since America's Cup there's way more tech advancements in hydrofoil. Lout: SF in general feels like a very disconnected city. That's why that's the idea of a mass flying transportation system is interesting. I just question the realisticness of the idea. Quinn: I think we should do it. I think if it should happen anywhere it should be here.