Toyota agreed to finance and help develop a flying car for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. It signed on a plan to have this car ride high and light the Olympic flame when the games officially open in Tokyo.
The car company invested $352,982 in a group called Cartivator, which initiated the flying car project. Dubbed the SkyDrive, the people involved plan on coming up with a prototype of the flying car for a test flight by the end of 2018. They will make use of drone technology to propel the vehicle.
In 2012, project leader Tsubasa Nakamura and some 30 volunteers of Cartivator first started developing ideas for the flying car. They also got help from drone expert and Tokushima University mechanical engineer Masafumi Miwa, as well as Taizo Son, the founder of a video game developing company GungHo Online Entertainment, as per Nikkei. For a while, the group relied on crowdfunding for their project until Toyota finally offered financial assistance.
Cartivator designed the flying car as a small futuristic car that's enough to fit a cat or dog with its 9.5 feet by 4.2 feet dimension. It has four propellers and three wheels with an advanced operating system. Its capacity to fly is at 62 miles per hour while hovering at the height of 32.8 feet. It also has a land speed of 93 miles per hour, as per Telegraph.
Meanwhile, these Japanese engineers aren't the only ones developing flying cars. Independent cited a group called Lilium in Munich already conducted a successful test of its five-seater flying car last April. Airbus, on the other hand, will also come up with its autonomous electric flying car called Vahana but there's still no prototype.
Tesla boss Elon Musk, however, said flying cars won't likely become mainstream transportation in the near future. "Flying cars have issues with weather, noise, and general increase anxiety levels of those below them," he said, as per Inverse.