Japanese Company Says They’ve Test-Drove Flying Car Prototype, Plans To Start Production Soon

For years, we have relied on the services of automobiles and airplanes.

Image: Facebook (Steve Strike)

But it seems that in mere years to come, we might have an all-new mode of transportation…

In the form of flying cars.

According to The Straits Timesa Japanese tech company has completed a flight test using “the world’s first manned testing machine”.

And boy, does it look feasible and sick.

Image: REUTERS

Traffic congestion?

In years to come, I think it’ll be air congestion instead. No joke.

Japanese Company Says They’ve Test-Driven Flying Car Prototype, Plans To Start Production Soon

On Friday (28 August), Japanese tech company SkyDrive revealed via a news release that it had completed a flight test using “the world’s first manned testing machine”:

Its SD-03 model, an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

Image: REUTERS

Apparently, the aircraft has one seat and functions with eight motors and two propellers on each corner.

During its test run, the vehicle was lifted a clean 10 feet into the air, while being operated by a pilot.

The flight time lasted around four minutes.

Compared to other designs, SkyDrive’s product has been touted to be one of the most compact in size, as well as lighter.

According to The Straits TimesSkyDrive received funding from the Development Bank of Japan and other investors this year.

Apparently, it first began developing a “flying car” in 2014.

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Production

According to Tomohiro Fukuzawa, SkyDrive’s chief executive, SkyDrive plans to start selling a two-seat version of its eVTOL by 2023 for around US$300,000 to US$500,000.

He has also projected the price to decrease by 2030.

Several companies are believed to be developing similar technology including Boeing and Airbus, as well as automakers Toyota and Porsche.

In January, Hyundai and Uber announced that they were working together on an all-electric air taxi.

Apparently, analysts with Morgan Stanley have predicted urban air taxis to be common by 2040, with the global market forecast to be US$1.4 trillion (S$1.9 million) to US$2.9 trillion by then.

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However, they have also stated that safety, as well as design, are two main roadblocks to the widespread use of the technology.

Though one thing’s clear.


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Should this thing take off, it would mean that humans are truly on the verge of a new mobility revolution, similar to the ones inspired by the invention of the automobile and plane.

As Derya Aksaray, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics at the University of Minnesota puts it:

“If this becomes successful, I think that would definitely create a different means of transportation. We are going to benefit a lot by reducing congestion and overcoming the geographical constraints of ground mobility.”

And with that said, we keep our fingers crossed for the developmental process…


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Though we also hope that air traffic congestion will not prove ‘deadlier’ than the ones we’re facing right now.

P.s. There are Netizens, however, who’ve described the “flying cars” as flying helicopters instead. Well, guess that’s why design’s a longstanding roadblock.


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