Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Japanese Company Showcases Working Prototype of 'Flying Car'

SkyDrive's SD-03 single-seat eVTOL aces first public test flight Japan’s ‘flying car’ gets off the ground with a person on board
Conrad Doyle | 30 August, 2020, 18:28

"They are going to be more energy efficient than helicopters that use a lot of fuel but they will be less energy efficient than cars because they have to lift themselves", she said.

In addition to electric and hybrid-powered cars, four-wheeled automotive technology is also enlivened by the concept of flying cars to meet future mobility.

While Sci-Fi has long mused on the possibility of cars soaring through the sky, Japan's SkyDrive Inc. might just make that a reality, The Associated Press reported Friday.

A Japanese company has announced the successful test drive of a manned flying vehicle.

The SkyDrive is a far cry from fictional flying cars shown in the iconic "Back to Future 2" movie, as it can only remain airborne between 5 and 10 minutes, but it is still among the few truly functional EVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) prototypes.

Yet battery sizes, air traffic control and other infrastructure issues are among the many potential challenges to commercializing them.

"If they cost $10 million, no one is going to buy them", Singh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, told the outlet. If they fall out of the sky every so often, no-one is going to buy them'.

The SkyDrive project began humbly as a volunteer project called Cartivator in 2012, with funding by top Japanese companies including automaker Toyota, electronics company Panasonic and video-game developer Bandai Namco.

The vehicle, named SD-03, manned with a pilot, took off and circled around the field for about four minutes, as reported by CNN.

Lilium of Germany, Joby Aviation in California and Wisk, a joint venture between Boeing Co. and Kitty Hawk Corp. are also working on eVTOL projects. At that point, the government hopes eVTOLs would serve as lifelines amid disasters and connect remote areas.

Sebastian Thrun, chief executive of Kitty Hawk, said it took time for aeroplanes, mobile phones and self-driving cars to win acceptance.

Specialists are comparing the excitement around flying cars to the times when the aviation business acquired started off with the Wright Brothers and the auto or truck sector with the Ford Model T.

He said: 'But the time between engineering and social adoption could possibly be extra compressed for evtol motor vehicles'.

The vehicle that was used in the test flight will be tested outside of the Toyota Test Field by the end of this year.

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