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By Frances Wang
Could the classic cartoon family The Jetsons’ futuristic world soon be our reality?
The 1960s sitcom was set in 2062, which is now less than 50 years away – 43 to be exact.
Some developers will tell you we might be closer than you think, at least when it comes to flying cars.
“Everything exists. I think what’s going to be really the difficulty is getting through the regulations,” said Daniel Kodsi. “You know whether it’s dealing with the [Federal Aviation Administration], the insurance, we can probably go on and on.”
Kodsi is the developer of Paramount Miami World Center, a 60-story downtown Miami high-rise.
Miami World Center is the second largest urban project in the country, spanning 27 acres.
“A mix of hotels, offices, residential of course, which is the Paramount and ground floor retail about 300,000 square feet,” said Kodsi.
So if Miami was the Jetsons’ Orbit City, then Paramount would be the Skypad Apartments.
The whole development will open in 2020, but the luxury condo tower will open a year earlier this summer.
“We made some minor adjustments [like] revisiting the pool, reinforcements if we had to one day replace the pool for a landing pad,” said Kodsi. “We wanted to make sure [the condo association] had their ability if they wanted to convert to a landing pad.”
The landing pad is a 5000 square feet Skyport, that way maybe one day, residents could ride a glass elevator up to the rooftop to get picked up or dropped off by passengers drones, better known as flying cars.
“We also created a door way and enclosed area for what would one day be a Skyport,” said Kodsi. “In essence, a sky lobby on top of the building.”
The passenger drones would be electric, so there are no combustion engines. There also is a major difference from what you would seen on The Jetsons’ and other futuristic films.
“In Back to the Future, they’re actually driving [which is a] misnomer,” said Kodsi. “People would [not] be physically controlling these vehicles.”
So just how close are we to this possibility? UBER already has a division called Uber Elevate, that will begin testing ‘urban air taxis’ in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Dubai in 2020.
Kodsi estimates we’ll see the technology in action in 10-15 years.
“I’ll tell you what, Miami definitely needs it,” said Kodsi.
Kodsi wants Miami, what he calls ‘the city of the future’ to be prepared when this technology is ready to launch, literally.
“Miami is very active in the forefront of design and architecture…one of the key issues we always discuss in Miami is traffic,” said Kodsi. “Having the ability one day to offset and unload traffic off busy roads [and] have the entire sky that’s wide open [will] really help the community as a whole.”
It may be a bit surreal to think the Jetsons’ world could soon be our world. Of course, that wouldn’t be possible without a George.
Ironically, Kodsi was a private pilot and has his pilot license.
“Once my children were born, my wife didn’t like my flying anymore, [but] I do love flying,” laughed Kodsi. “So we’ve had somebody call me George [Jetson], yes.”