Flying car project backed by Toyota for 2020 launch date
Image credit: cartivator
Japanese automaker Toyota has announced it is backing a flying car project with hopes that the vehicles will be available to consumers in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Cartivator group, which is developing a three-wheeled car that uses drone technology to take to the skies, has been given around 42.5 million yen (£290,000) by Toyota. It was previously paid for solely by crowdfunding.
Dubbed SkyDrive, the vehicle will be able to accept one passenger and uses four sets of propellers to fly.
It measures just 2.9 metres long and 1.3 metres wide and its creators say they are aiming for it to be the world's smallest flying car.
It has a projected top flight speed of 100km/h, while travelling up to 10m above the ground. It is capable of travelling at about 150km/h when on land.
In a promotional video, the vehicle can be seen lowering its retractable wings and flying around Tokyo before lighting the flame at the Olympic stadium.
Toyota has also said that the company can use some its mechanical engineers to develop the project further, while additional funding has been provided by Taizo Sun, the founder of Japanese web game developer GungHo Online Entertainment.
Other firms, including ride-sharing service Uber and a Silicon Valley startup reportedly backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, are moving to put in place a system of flying cars to move people around cities.
In April pre-orders opened for a $1m (£780,000) flying car set to launch in 2020 created by Slovakian firm AeroMobil.
Another vehicle that has been in development for 15 years in Israel is also finally set to come to market in 2020, according to its creators.