Daily Archives: September 1, 2020
As a country known for its fast, efficient transportation, Japan is hoping to conquer the next frontier of human mobility: winning the race to build a manned flying car. This week at a top secret test facility in central Japan, we were given a glimpse of what that Jetsons and Blade Runner-inspired flying future might look like.
With the noisy whirr of 100 beehives, SkyDrive‘s pilot roared the eight motors to life and lifted off, slowly turning the car from side to side and flying for a few minutes. It was a risk-averse display in many senses. They were short, carefully controlled manoeuvres, and out of an abundance of safety, spectators were required to watch from behind layers of safety glass, nets and scaffolding.
The man in charge of the company is Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who believes that within three years, people in Japan will be able hail a flying two-seater vehicle that can travel 5 kilometres. It doesn’t sound like much but it would theoretically get a passenger from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to one of the city’s biggest hubs.
The Japanese Government has committed to a roadmap for an ‘air mobility revolution’, setting up a council to bring government agencies, researchers and companies together in the effort to build a flying car. Making sure all of the technologies used by the cars can communicate through sophisticated sensors and a common language will be mandatory if the pilotless future is to be realised.
“I think flying cars will become normal in the near future,” Mr Fukuzawa said. “The cost will go down as more cars will be made and I think the world of flying cars will become more accessible for the public.”
By 2050, Tomohiro Fukuzawa wants you to be able to travel anywhere in Tokyo’s dense metropolis in 10 minutes or less.