The Japanese initiative, which is still at a very early stage, aims to design a roadmap before the end of the year
The Japanese government convened on Wednesday several large groups, including the giants Boeing and Airbus, to discuss the development of flying cars. However, the projects presented at this meeting at the initiative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Japan show that this dream is not something today for tomorrow .
The Japanese initiative, which is still somewhat vague, aims to design a roadmap before the end of this year.
The potential participants in the project come from the aeronautical sector (Airbus, Boeing, ANA and Japan Airlines), the automobile sector (Uber, Subaru), or technology such as NEC. Flying cars “could solve transportation problems in isolated or mountainous regions, or in the context of disaster rescue operations,” said Shinji Tokumasu , METI official. “We organize this public and private meeting to make a new industry prosper, and to be profitable,” he said.
Among the projects presented on Wednesday, the company Cartivator is preparing a test flight of its futuristic piloted vehicle ‘SkyDrive’, for 2019.
One of the objectives of this group of young engineers, supported financially by the Toyota mega-construction company, is to achieve ( with one of these devices) light the flame of the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020 . And, in the longer term, they aspire to be able to build their vehicle in series in 2027.
Dozens of companies from around the world, including many start-ups, are working on hybrid devices capable of rolling on the roads and at any moment rising through the air. As for the big brands, the Uber company, with its initiative ‘Elevate’ aims to unclog urban transport, and Airbus, whose vehicle ‘Vahana’ already made its first flight in February, is very active in this issue. For its part, the British industrial group Rolls-Royce also presented its own project in July.
The ‘Flyer’ designed by the ‘start-up’ Kitty Hawk, and funded by Google co-founder Larry Page , already receives commands to confirm from June. ‘Flyer’ evokes the name of the first airplane that flew in the history in 1903, and Kitty Hawk, the coastal area of the United States where it happened.