Flying Cars are Expected at the Tokyo Olympics
The movie “Back to the Future II” got a lot of things right. As predicted, by 2015, we had video conferencing, 3D movies, wireless games, and tablets. But they were a bit early in predicting flying cars, although not by too much.
A team of Japanese engineers is expecting to launch their flying car by 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Measuring only 9.5 feet by 4.3 feet, SkyDrive will claim the position of the world’s smallest flying car, and it is expected to reach speeds of 62mph and travel as high as 32 feet above the ground.
It differs to most of the other potential flying cars which follow the design of small airplanes, making it difficult to take off and land on city roads. The SkyDrive has three wheels, a motor, and four rotors. It basically resembles a drone big enough to carry humans.
The 20-strong team of engineers and technical designers, led by Tsubasa Nakamura, hope to provide a new form of transport to reduce the negative and long-lasting effects of earthquakes. As stated on the website, the SkyDrive “enables us to go places where we cannot go now or to live on water by releasing [us from] transportation on roads.”
With four years left until the expected release date, a prototype was tested successfully although it is only a fifth of the expected size. SkyDrive has no time to lose and there is no lack of competition regarding flying cars. Lilium Aviation and Terrafugia both have plans to launch their flying cars within the next 2 years.
The SkyDrive will not require any special licensing and is expected to cost an ‘affordable’ $50,000 USD. Compared to others that are more expensive, it will make flying cars more accessible. We hope to see commercialization soon after the Olympics in Tokyo.