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back to the is now In the 1989 hit film Back to the Future II, Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Marty’s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, climb into a time-traveling Delorean to blaze thirty years into the future at 88 miles per hour. The date is October 26, 1985. When they land in October 21, 2015, the world has undergone a modern facelift. Cars jet off like airplanes. Skateboards move without wheels. People wear inexplicable neon jumpsuits. At the time the film was released, those thirty years felt like a lifetime, so the possibilities of the new millennium didn’t seem so farfetched. But today’s 2015 bears little resemblance to the bustling land of Back to the Future II. We’re probably better off without the neon jumpsuits, but those of us who saw the movie and glimpsed into our future collectively ask: Where are the flying cars? Before they jetted away from 1985, Doc Brown confidently said to Marty and Jennifer: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” But lo and behold, the roads of 2015 continue to exist and there aren’t any cars launching off of them. Most importantly, however: where are all the hoverboards? How close are we to the future that director Robert Zemeckis imagined? 40 www.thriveswla.com
by Brett Downer
the Xplorair, which permits vertical automobile take-offs. A demonstration flight is scheduled for 2017. There are others, but it’s unlikely anyone will be taking off by the end of this year.
Hoverboards In Back to the Future II (1989), Marty McFly arrives in his flying car in October 2015.
Flying cars have been in the works for several decades. One that’s received some attention is the AeroMobil 3.0, produced by a Slovakia-based company. Their model has been in development since 1989—the same year Back to the Future II premiered. According to AeroMobil, the 3.0 can reach 124 miles per hour and fly for 430 miles on a full tank of glass. It takes normal gas from normal gas stations and gets about 29 miles per gallon. Unfortunately, their most recent prototype crash-landed in May and it’s uncertain when the car—targeted toward wealthy supercar or flight enthusiasts—would ever be on the market. It’s often referred to as an “aircraft” rather than a flying car, since it transforms from one to the other. In 2014, it was discovered that Toyota filed for a patent that resembled a flying car, but officials told the Verge that it’s not a “full-fledged flying car, but a vehicle that would be able to get a little bit away from the road.” Kind-of like a hovercraft, car-style. It’s uncertain when this would reach the market. Meanwhile, manufacturers in France developed Thrive Magazine for Better Living
Speaking of Toyota, it appears they’ve also built a hoverboard via its luxury Lexus brand. The Lexus website states that the board uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets. People have actually ridden these hoverboards, so it’s clear they exist. So that’s the good news. The bad news is, you can’t buy them. At least not yet. As of today, the requirements needed to make the hoverboard move are too complex for common
The hoverboard is perhaps the most coveted technology from Zemeckis’ 1989 vision of 2015. October 2015
October 2015 Issue of Thrive