For a long time, flying cars seemed exclusively sci-fi, but they were very popular topics in science fiction movies and literature. Perhaps their best-known – iconic – film depiction is the neon-bright airspace of the Winged Bounty Hunter cyberpunk Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, more and more people are proving their feasibility, exciting concepts are also coming to light, but we have not seen cars flying over our cities to this day – despite the insights that give cause for optimism.
Yet not all workshops have spectacular plans: Airbus, Boeing, Uber, and they are just the best known. It is a question of whether one of them has reached a feasibility study at all.
Now, in any case, the Japanese government has announced that it will also financially support the development of flying cars. However, he did more than that, he talked about a specific date – I would like to see the futuristic mode of transport in commercial traffic as early as 2023.
The dream of originally ground vehicles capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and short distances between the two seems more and more real, and it is hardly a coincidence that Japan is at the forefront of the plans.
One of the startups specializing in this area, the island’s newest aircraft company, the eloquent SkyDrive, recently unveiled its two-seater electronic VTOL (eVTOL) called SD-XX. The car-sized structure can in principle cover several 10 kilometers and has a speed of about 100 km / h. The first test flights are planned for this year and even the end of August.
“We’re thinking of launching air taxi services in big cities, or in Osaka or Tokyo. The first flights would take place over the sea because otherwise it would be too risky to suddenly appear over the heads of many people, ”explains startup CEO, former Toyota engineer Tomohiro Fukuzawa.
He is satisfied with their work so far. In the first place, resorts such as Universal’s Japanese studios would take trips there. The first model will be self-driving, but not 100 percent autonomous because, for example, in unexpected situations, a flesh-pilot will also be required to maneuver.
Their goal is to sell at least a thousand pieces by 2028. According to Fukuzawa, an SD-XX will cost no more than an expensive car.