This Japanese Firm Could Soon Make Flying Cars a Reality
Video from engineering company SkyDrive shows its manned compact vehicle using eight propellers to hover into the air and make its way—with a few wobbles—around a test field.
But while the clip may excite fans of Blade Runner and Back to the Future, the test run leaves mankind far from a future of airborne vehicles whizzing into the sky to avoid traffic.
The company hailed "the first public demonstration of a flying car in Japan" and said the aircraft, around the size of two parked cars, had circled the testing field for four minutes.
"We want to realise a society where flying cars are an accessible and convenient means of transportation in the skies," SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said in a statement.
The firm said it wanted the vehicle to be available to buy in Japan by 2023, with reports suggesting it could cost upwards of US$300,000.
The car is not the first step humans have taken towards a brave new world of airborne vehicles.
(Related: Rolls-Royce Unveils A Hybrid Flying Taxi)
A German company tested a flying taxi in Singapore in October, saying it hoped its invention—also shaped like a big drone—would revolutionise travel in traffic-choked cities.
Volocopter had already tested its battery-operated, two-seater taxi elsewhere around the globe but the Singapore trial was the first in the heart of a city.
Several other companies are working on similar projects, including Boeing, Airbus, Toyota and Hyundai.