Japan has taken a step closer to realising its dream of launching flying cars in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following investment from a major car company. Toyota is funding a project which aims to bring the world’s smallest flying car to the skies using the latest drone technology.
Its creators are hoping to launch the manned protoype by the end of 2018, with the goal of a flying car being used to light the Olympic flame when the Tokyo Games open in 2020. The car is the brainchild of the Cartivator Project, a group of young engineers from the auto and aerospace industries who are based in a former school in Aichi Prefecture, supported mainly by crowdfunding.
The project is now poised to receive a major boost following investment from Toyota, which is reportedly planning to provide funding of around £290,000 (42.5 million yen).The futuristic car, which has been dubbed SkyDrive, will have three wheels, four sets of propellers, an intuitive operating system and diminutive dimensions of 9.5 feet by 4.2 feet.
The new vehicle is expected to travel at flying speeds of around 62 miles per hour while hovering at heights of up to 32.8 feet, in addition to land speeds of 93 miles per hour.Noise issues, infrastructure creation, weather conditions and safety concerns are key areas in which the creators of the new flying car are focusing as they fine-tune their prototype.
“We aim to create a world where anyone can fly in the sky anytime by 2050,” explains Cartivator’s creators in a mission station on their website, adding that their goal is to see a flying car being used to light the Tokyo Olympic flame in 2020. A global race to create the world’s first flying cars appears to be underway, with a growing number of companies in the US, Germany and China as well as Japan exploring ways to create flying car technology.