Japanese flying car manufacturer SkyDrive has tested its SD-03 with a human on board. However, the engineers noted that they would need to improve safety in order to enter the market.
In the video presented by the company, their device rose to a height of 1-2 meters and hung in this position for a minute. At the same time, there was a live driver inside the car for the first time.
Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who heads SkyDrive, said the flying car could hit the market by 2023. At the same time, he admitted that engineers still have to work on safety – this will serve as a decisive argument in negotiations with the authorities for the introduction of devices into general use.
“Of the more than 100 flying car projects in the world, only a few have been successful with a human on board”, he added.
While the car can fly for only 5-10 minutes, but if engineers can stretch the flight to 30 minutes, the devices will begin to be exported to China and other countries. Unlike airplanes and helicopters, a vertical takeoff and landing of a car offers a quick personal point-to-point flight.
“We still have a lot of work to do – if the devices cost $ 10 million, no one will buy them. If they fly for 5 minutes, no one will buy them. If they fall, no one will buy them, ”Fukuzawa added.
The SkyDrive project started in 2012 as a volunteer project called “Cartivator”. It is financed by leading Japanese companies – Toyota Motor Corp., Panasonic Corp. and video game developer Bandai Namco.