It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Flying Car…Sort of

A "flying car" test vehicle hovering in Japan test area
AP/SkyDrive

Apparently it’s not too late for 2020 to finally live up to its potential: flying cars are (sorta) here. SkyDrive Inc., a company in Japan is running one of many flying car projects around the globe, completed a successful (though humble) test run with its device today with a test driver inside.

The vehicle, which resembles a motorcycle with propellers, rose one to two feet off the ground and hovered within the netted testing area for four minutes. “Of the world’s more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeeded with a person on board,” Tomohiro Fukuzawa, head of the SkyDrive effort, told AP earlier. He also said he hopes flying cars can become a real-life product for businesses by 2023, though he stressed the importance of ensuring the vehicles are safe first.

SkyDrive’s small success today is a big step forward for the flying car movement, and for the future of transportation. The hope for eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles to become more successful is widespread, as it can mean faster transportation of people and goods.

However, there are still many factors that need addressing and polishing—from battery sizes and new infrastructure, to consistently longer flight times and a long-running list of successful safe test runs—before the vehicles can go commercial anywhere.

via AP

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