Japan’s SkyDrive Inc. has carried out a successful through modest test flight with one person abroad. The decades old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory.
In a video shown to reporters on Friday, a contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted several feet off the ground, and hovered in a netted area for four minutes. Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who heads the skydive, said he hopes the flying car can be made into a real-life product by 2023, but he also mentioned that making it safe was critical.
He mentioned, of the world’s more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeed with a person on board. The machine so far can fly for just five to 10 minutes but if that can become 30 minutes, it will have more potential, including exports to places like china.
Sanjiv Singh, professor at the robotics institute at Carneige Mellon university said, many things have to happen. If they cost $10 million, no one is going to buy them. If they fly for 5 minutes, no one is going to buy them. If they fall out of the sky every so often, no one is going to buy them.
Sebastian Thrun, chief executive of kitty hawk, said it took time for airplanes, cell phones and self driving cars to win acceptance. But the time between technology and social adoption might be more compressed for Evtol vehicles.