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The future of flying to work may be closer to you and me. Toyota, NEC, Panasonic, and many other Japanese giants co-sponsored skydrive, a newly created skydrive, announced the first manned flight test at the weekend.
Although the test was only conducted at a low altitude of about 3 meters, and the flight time was only about 5 minutes, it still created an important milestone in the history of flying car development.
Its flying car SD-03 successfully reached a manned space on Toyota’s test flight field. Mission to lift off.
Although the flying car is currently only in the testing phase and there are no successful commercialization cases around the world, more and more people are optimistic about its future development.
Morgan Stanley’s research pointed out that the global electric flying vehicle (eVTOL) market will reach 1.4 trillion to 2.9 trillion US dollars in another 20 years.
Fukuzawa Chihiro, founder of SkyDrive, also believes that by 2050, everyone can ride a flying car and fly freely in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
# skydrive aim to launch flying texi services.
Two years after its establishment, it was sponsored by hundreds of companies, and SkyDrive aims to launch a flying taxi service in 2023.
skydrive is a start-up company born out of the flying car development volunteer group Cartivator. The founder Fukuzawa Chihiro is also the co-founder of Cartivator.
Cartivator began to invest in flying car research and development in 2014.
Since it is not a company, its operation has always relied on crowdfunding. In 2017, it was sponsored by Toyota 40 million (about NT$11.02 million). Japanese game developer Gungho also Provide 2.5 million.
toyota skydrive, a manned drone development venture funded by Toyota, publicly conducted a manned flight test of SD-03, which claims the world’s smallest VTOL.
The location is Toyota Test Field in Toyota City.
# toyota skydrive unique structure and specification
toyota skydrive announced earlier this year that it had conducted its first manned test flight in December.
The aircraft in the photograph at that time had the pilot’s body quite exposed, and it seemed dangerous to see the roll bar on the head with some simple things, but this SD-03 is still an open cockpit.
However, it is covered with a shaped body panel, and the sense of security has evolved stepwise.
The extremely small aircraft has eight rotors, one in each of the four corners, for a total of eight rotations, and is designed to continue flying even if one of them stops due to a failure.
The test flight this time was such that it floated at a height of about 1 to 2 m for just 4 minutes. In addition, although the pilot was not flying autonomously, the attitude stability control was automatically performed.
# use for personal transportation
The demand for flying cars can be point-to-point personal transportation in urban areas where roads are constantly congested.
skydrive aims to commercialize this “flying car (formally named electric vertical take-off and landing type unmanned aerial vehicle)” project in FY2023.
This is based on the “growth strategy follow-up plan” based on the growth strategy formulated in 2020, which the Japanese has set as a policy in July, regarding the realization of a flying vehicle.
It coincides with the fact that we will begin to consider the establishment of systems such as skill certification standards, realize the service of personnel transport in rural areas by 2023, and then expand the use to cities.
# toyota car cover the distance
toyota skydrive believes that if it extends the flight time, which is currently only about 5 to 10 minutes, to at least about 30 minutes, it will increase the possibility of monetization such as export to foreign countries.
Also, on the same day as this public test flight, it announced that it has funded 3.9 billion yen through a third-party allotment of capital to 10 underwriting companies, including the Development Bank of Japan.
# safety in terms of the exposed rotor
However, for commercialization in 2023 and practical application, it is necessary to further improve safety in terms of the exposed rotor.
In addition, there are still many issues to be solved in order to operate as new transportation such as improvement of battery capacity and weight, cooperation with air traffic control, and other infrastructure aspects.
# production flying car
flying car stated that the flying car could be put into production as early as 2023. Although it is currently only 10 minutes off the ground, there is still some way to go before the flight time can be extended to 30 minutes.
flying skydrive recently won 37 million US dollars of funds continue to develop flying cars, and the Japanese is also optimistic about the prospects,
looking forward to the release of commercial services in 2023 and commercial use in the 2030s.
Note all images and video can be taken from skydrive2020
# 100 flying cars by 2028
The company said that it may initially try the round-trip itinerary from Universal Studios Japan to various resorts, or test the operation of air taxis in major cities such as Osaka and Tokyo.
The goal is to sell at least 100 flying cars by 2028. Traffic control and infrastructure construction are all potential challenges to the commercialization of flying cars. We need new laws, insurance policies, service repair stations, retailers and parts suppliers.
It should not be easy to see commercialization of flying cars in recent years. .