Toyota has joined the flying car trend by backing a group dealing with drone-like vehicle that would skyrocket 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground at acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph). The “Skydrive” is being established by Cartivator, a startup with around 30 young volunteers dealing with drone specialist Masafumi Miwa from Tokushima University. The goal is to get the vehicle flying next year and have it commercialized in time to light the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games torch.
The 2.9 meter (9.5 foot) long SkyDrive would be the “smallest” flying EV in the world, though it’s worth keeping in mind that as of today, there are precisely no industrial flying cars. Cartivator’s model would be able to take off from any public road and be “intuitive” and simple to control, according to its Zenmono crowdfunding page.
Toyota chipped in around 40 million yen ($353,000) and provided the proficiency of its mechanical engineers. The group has likewise received aid from Taizo Sun, the founder of Japanese web game developer GungHo Online Entertainment, and about 2.5 million yen ($22,000) in crowdfunding promises.
Many of the companies, consisting of Uber, Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk start-up and Chinese company Ehang are working on flying vehicles, making them the tech world’s fanciful item du jour. However, testing and accrediting aircraft in the United States needs millions of dollars and the cooperation of federal regulators, so developing one isn’t really as easy as some experts are making it appear. The HondaJet, for example, was licensed by the FAA in 2015, 12 years after the initial proof-of-concept craft made its first flight.
Flying vehicles have fired the general public’s creativity for decades, and the technology seems to be finally falling into place to make it happen. However, even if someone did construct an inexpensive, safe and effective sky automobile, officials would need to find out how to certify them, train pilots and work them into the air traffic control service system, among numerous other obstacles.
However, Toyota has become keen on brand-new technology, and revealed strategies recently to invest around 1.05 trillion yen ($9.3 billion) on new technology, even if it may appear extravagant now. “Things will not progress if you wait and provide money only when the technology is ready,” stated Toyota Chairman Takeshi Ichiyamada.