Flying cars. Robots. Biometric devices. These are just some of the things I get to think about and research in my role as Cisco’s Chief Futurist. As the Internet of Everything continues to connect more people, process, data, and things it is exciting to think about the possibilities.

Looking at life 50 years ago can give us perspective about just how far we have come. In 1963, push-button telephones were first introduced and the world’s population was 3.2 billion, less than half of what it is today. The next 50 years will be just as revolutionary and life changing, perhaps even more so.

Today I am introducing a new series called “Ask the Futurist” where I will answer questions related to—you guessed it—the future. I will be discussing technology that on the surface might seem like a far-reaching concept, but in reality may be possible in our lifetime.

Our first question comes from Scott McDermott, a network engineer from Seattle, Washington:


“When will we get our flying cars? Is that even a realistic hope anymore?”



Terrafugia’s flying car  Photo Source: Business Insider
Terrafugia’s flying car
Photo Source: Business Insider

Don’t lose hope on flying cars just yet. This is a question that I think about often. I believe that we will be able to see flying cars in the next five-to-10 years.

The advances of robotics, drones and gyroscope technology will make flying cars a reality sooner than you think. In fact, last month Business Insider highlighted a company called Terrafugia that is in the final testing stages for a practical flying car. Built with mass-market production in mind, the four-seat, plug-in hybrid electric flying car has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

Terrafugia’s flying car relies on electric drivetrain                     Photo Source: Business Insider
Terrafugia’s flying car relies on electric drivetrain
Photo Source: Business Insider

While we want to make our science fiction dreams a reality as soon as possible, there are some challenges with flying cars. For example, federal legislation, cost, and fuel considerations will need to be evaluated. According to the New York Times, the F.A.A. created a new classification, the light-sport category, to encourage the design of small, easy-to-fly aircraft more than eight years ago. However, there is still a long way to go before we use our flying car to commute to work.

What do you want to know about the future? Ask your question to @DavetheFuturist or join the conversation: #IoE #AsktheFuturist.