Japan To Launch Flying Cars By 2023, With Predictions That They Will Dominate Global City Skylines By 2040

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Japan To Launch Flying Cars By 2023, With Predictions That They Will Dominate Global City Skylines By 2040

Photo: A scale model of the SD-XX concept car | COURTESY OF SKYDRIVE / CARTIVATOR


The flying car is here! A long-time feature of science fiction movies and novels, the Tokyo company SkyDrive has brought the flying car into reality.


The Japanese firm will be launching their vehicles for use in 2023 and CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa even believes that there will be a trillion dollar industry in flying cars by the 2040s.


The vehicles which resemble small helicopters or large drones, and work on the same propeller principle with four rotor blades fixed on each corner of the vehicle, are known as an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The vehicles are battery powered and are moved from designated spot to designated spot by autonomous computers, though a pilot will always be present to ensure safety.


Rajeev Lalwani, an aircraft analyst with Morgan Stanley, commented on the SkyDrive development, saying that it:


"Could likely begin as an ultra-niche add-on to existing transportation infrastructure, similar to how helicopters operate today. They could later transform into a cost-effective, time-efficient method of traveling short to medium distances, eventually taking business away from car and airline companies."


SkyDrive is indeed one of around 100 other companies getting involved in the eVTOL market. Major firms such as Boeing and Uber also make inroads, showing that the most senior of business minds regard the flying car as a viable, and profitable, route for investment.


CEO Fukuzawa, spoke of how he imagines his company developing in the future, and the massive impact flying cars will have on day-to-day life. He stated that he believes that by 2050 a passenger will be able to reach anywhere in Tokyo via flying car within 10 minutes. He warned however that obstacles do remain in place, stating in an interview with The Japan Times:


"Getting SkyDrive certified for commercial flights and ensuring the same safety and reliability as existing aircraft — and changing the social climate, by letting the general public know about this air mobility, and making them want to ride a flying car."


We have already seen in the last decade how drones have begun to impact our lives, so it is not unimaginable that what are essentially large versions of drones will soon come to dominate our skylines. This could, along with driverless cars, become the biggest shift in transportation we see in our lifetimes.


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Thinking Humanity: Japan To Launch Flying Cars By 2023, With Predictions That They Will Dominate Global City Skylines By 2040
Japan To Launch Flying Cars By 2023, With Predictions That They Will Dominate Global City Skylines By 2040
The flying car is here! A long-time feature of science fiction movies and novels, the Tokyo company SkyDrive has brought the flying car into reality. The Japanese firm will be launching their vehicles for use in 2023 and CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa even believes that there will be a trillion dollar industry in flying cars by the 2040s. The vehicles which resemble small helicopters or large drones, and work on the same propeller principle with four rotor blades fixed on each corner of the vehicle, are known as an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).
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