Toyota is funding the move given the immense brand visibility and marketing potential.
In a significant breakthrough, On Saturday, Toyota Motor Corp along with engineers demonstrated their flying car with which they hope to light the Olympic flames for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
In 2014, a group of 30 engineers which includes young employees from Toyota created a startup “Cartivator” in order to develop “SkyDrive”, a flying car.
As per Tsubasa Nakamura, head of Cartivator, although the SkyDrive is still at an early stage, they plan on conducting the first manned-flight by the end of 2018.
During the demonstration on Saturday, the prototype was able to stay off the ground and float for a sizeable number of seconds. The engineers will now focus on increased stability and on the ability of the car to fly high enough so as to reach the Olympic flame.
The SkyDrive will be the world’s smallest electric vehicle, designed to navigate the world’s urban jungle.
Cartivator aims to commercially release the car in 2025.
In May 2017, Toyota Motor and its group of companies had agreed to sink in $385,000 (42.5 million yen) in the project, spread across the next three years. Nakamura and team are working to improve the design and hopes to receive further funding from Toyota.
Although the idea of “flying cars” seem great, they face hurdles, including convincing the public and regulators that their products are safe for use.
Government across the globe are still to frame laws for regulating driverless cars and drones.
($1 = 110.4000 yen)