Japan plans to launch a flying taxiAugust 19, 2020
The Japanese corporation Panasonic, in partnership with other Japanese and international companies, supported the SkyDrive Inc. project. to create a revolutionary flying self-driving electric vehicle, which in the foreseeable future should make flying a new form of urban mobility.
SkyDrive Inc. Is a startup led by a former engineer at Toyota Motor Corp. Tomohiro Fukuzawa expects to launch a commercial flying taxi service in Japan in 2023, and in 2028 to start selling flying vehicles to private customers.
In Japan, flying cars are officially referred to as eVTOL, or “electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.” They are distinguished by electrification, automated control and vertical take-off and landing capabilities. SkyDrive Inc. prototype. quite compact – its height is only 1.5 m, length 4 m, and width – 3.5 m. Osaka and Tokyo will be the first cities where eVTOL is planned to start operating. The average flight time can be 5-10 minutes at a speed of up to 100 km / h.
First test flights of SkyDrive Inc. outdoor activities began in December 2019 and ended safely in March 2020. This summer, the developer intends to conduct an open demonstration to the public. The company is actively refining the prototype to meet the safety requirements required to obtain an aircraft certification and flight clearance from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
SkyDrive believes that by 2050, every resident or visitor to Tokyo will be able to easily travel by air between 23 municipalities in the Japanese capital in just 10 minutes. In addition, flying cars will be actively used to transport people in mountainous areas and on remote islands, as well as during evacuation in case of natural disasters or other unforeseen situations. Due to their economy, quietness and the fact that a small patch of ground is enough for vertical take-off and landing, eVTOL vehicles can make flights a normal form of travel.
Tomohiro Fukuzawa, President of SkyDrive, commented, “Those of us who volunteered to invest our time and energy generously in developing a flying car understood the limitations of a privately funded project. And sometimes they even doubted whether we would be able to achieve our goal – to conduct a flight demonstration in the summer of 2020. However, the broad support of our partners – their funding, engineering experience and knowledge, as well as human resources – allowed us to realize this dream and continue the development of the project. “
The electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) segment has tremendous potential, according to a 2019 Morgan Stanley study. By approximately 2040, global demand for it could reach $ 1.5 trillion.
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