A government-backed Japanese start-up has announced it wants to launch a flying taxi service in 2023 in Tokyo. In addition to a huge technological breakthrough, it would also have many advantages.
If you were asked what the future would look like, many of you would probably think of flying cars. This was the case with Jules Verne, who was one of the first to imagine one of these devices in The Master of the World , in 1904.
Still highly regarded in popular culture – the infamous DeLorean from Back to the Future , the Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – she could very quickly become real. And it would rather resemble the New York flying taxis of Luc Besson in The Fifth Element .
Today, there are more than a hundred flying car projects, like those of Boeing, Aston Martin or Uber . Some have even been “approved” and others tested several times . But these prototypes are still a long way from setting foot in the airspace of the world’s largest capitals. Unlike those, SkyDrive’s project looks much more realistic. Especially since the Japanese start-up has received the support of a hundred sponsors including Panasonic or NEC, but also that of the government and that changes everything.
SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said Tokyo residents will be able to get to anywhere in the city in less than 10 minutes thanks to flying cars by 2050 . An already crazy bet but that is not all. He is betting that the first flying taxis will be present in Japan in 2023.
The potential is monstrous. According to a study by Morgan Stanley in 2019, this market could reach more than a billion and a half dollars by 2040 . Hence the interest of companies in these vehicles of the future. In addition to this huge market, it would be a more cost effective, faster and more environmentally friendly way to get around.
A one-of-a-kind vehicle
If this project is the most plausible, it is also thanks to the capacities and dimensions of the vehicle. The flying car, named SD-XX, is the smallest of its kind . It is “only” 1.5 meters high, 4 meters long and 3.5 meters wide. This allows him to park in two parking spaces.
The first electric model, in the test phase, would be able to fly at nearly 100 km / h and would have a range of several tens of kilometers, according to comments reported by Japan Times . The CEO of SkyDrive also explains that he wants to sell a fully autonomous flying car to the general public in 2028.
This project could therefore make a lot of noise in the years to come, especially since the demonstrations of flying vehicles still fascinate the public. Although for the moment, the results have not always lived up to our expectations.