Could We Be Using Flying Cars by 2030?

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One company thinks they’ve created a practical electric flying car.

Flying cars have long been one of those futuristic ideas. Over the years, they showed up in space-themed TV shows, and there was talk about everyone flying to work once the millennium hit. But it seems like it might finally come to fruition. A Japanese aviation company released its SkyDrive SD-XX that could be mainstream by 2030.

The unique aircraft can lift off the ground and fly to a destination before landing and driving away. Other similar vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) creations can only take off and land. This would give the SkyDrive SD-XX many more transportation capabilities. The design looks more like a spaceship, is 13 feet long, 11.5 feet wide, 5 feet tall, and is designed to carry two passengers. Eight propellors allow the part aircraft part car to fly up to 1,640 feet, going a maximum of 62 miles per hour. But that can only be sustained for 12 miles. Bump the speed down to 37 miles per hour, and the aircraft can travel a distance of 20 miles. 

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And it seems like the idea could actually work. The aircraft passed the verification phase in March and will do a test flight of the prototype this month. Plus, Fujitsu, Toyota, Panasonic, and other high-tech companies are backing the project and local Japanese governments. The firm expects to get certification in Japan in the next three years and believes the vehicle will be mainstream by 2030.

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“I would like to help take the industry forward,” said SkyDrive’s Chief Technology Officer, Nobuo Kishi, in a statement. “I will help SkyDrive develop the flying car and bring it to the market. Together we will revolutionize the concept of air transport—benefitting both businesses and the lives of consumers.”