How many times have you seen movies in which the future looked bright, chaotic and full of air highways full of flying cars?? We are not discussing a luminous and chaotic world, since it can be said that it is already more than a reality, but with respect to flying vehicles, we waited and waited and even thought that it might not happen or at least that we would not live to see it. However, the reality is different, the future that some science fiction movies have introduced in our heads is already very close.
That’s right, a public-private committee made up of the Government of Japan (Ministries of Economy, Trade and Industry and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and some technology and automobile companies, have reached an agreement: they want 2026 to be the starting point for the commercialization of flying cars that are for use in urban areas.
The project has already received 4.4 million euros in funding from automotive companies and the governments of Tokyo and Japan, and some 400 people are already working on the Skydrive flying car. This idea was born from the ingenious minds of ten young engineers -we guess they got their inspiration from science fiction movies- who intend to develop this new means of aerial mobility.
“We started working on this project as a kind of volunteer work or hobby,” commented Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of Skydrive, one of the companies that make up the committee and who in 2014 worked for Toyota Motors in the production of car parts.
Here’s what you need to know about the flying cars we’ll know sooner than we thought
Fukuzawa, who has been working on a flying car for four years, explained:
“The idea behind the flying car is that we can get a more reasonable price than a helicopter or airplane. Also, it will be easier to pilot.”
- These flying cars are going to be unique in terms of size, as they will be smaller than other projects of this type. It will have a vertical take-off, an electric power source and more flight stability than vehicles developed by other companies.
- Measuring 3.6 meters long, 3.1 meters wide and 1.1 meters high, its small size will allow it to take off from a small space, its creator comments that “It could even be parked in a Konbini” (Japanese experience stores).
- It will be able to fly at any altitude; according to the engineer, the development team estimates that its ascent will be a minimum of 150 meters, a height that would allow the opening of a parachute in case of an accident.
- The engineers have planned for the market launch of the flying car to be in 2026, which turns out to be a challenge due to the high cost of the Skydrive, which, for now, they estimate to be 50 million yen (397,000 euros).
Fukuzawa explains that the Japanese government is considering public service flying cars in principle:
“Today we don’t have to own the vehicle; we can share it or use it as a service. If we use it as a cab, the price is more reasonable.”
The first test with a human pilot will take place in summer 2019, after receiving the go-ahead from the Japanese government, which has already given the authorization to carry out these tests abroad.