sale car

Flying cars are no longer just a flight of fancy

In the 1880s, the first automobile was developed, and about two decades later, the Wright brothers made the first successful airplane flight. Today, the world is closer to combining those two concepts as a Japanese tech company said it completed a manned test flight of a “flying car.”

The company, SkyDrive, also said it hopes to have versions of the vehicle on sale to the public in as little as three years.

SkyDrive announced that it had completed a flight test using “the world’s first manned testing machine,” its SD-03 model, an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. The flight time was four minutes, the company said.

The aircraft has one seat and operates with eight motors and two propellers on each corner. It lifted about 10 feet into the air and was operated by a pilot, the company said.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, SkyDrive’s chief executive, said that five years ago there were various prototypes of flying cars, usually with fixed wings. SkyDrive’s product, he said, was one of the most compact in size and was lighter compared with other designs.

SkyDrive was started in 2012 by members of a volunteer organization called Cartivator, and the company began developing a “flying car” in 2014, according to its website.

This year, SkyDrive received funding from the Development Bank of Japan and other investors, the company said.

Several companies are developing similar technology, including Boeing and Airbus, as well as automakers Toyota and Porsche. In January, Hyundai and Uber announced they were collaborating on an all-electric air taxi.

Analysts with Morgan Stanley have said they expect urban air taxis to be common by 2040, with the global market projected to be $1.4 trillion to $2.9 trillion by then.

Safety is one of two challenges preventing the technology from becoming widely used, said Derya Aksaray, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics at the University of Minnesota. Safe autonomous technology for eVTOL aircraft is still being developed, Aksaray said.

“These vehicles need to look at their environment, assess the situation and act accordingly,” she said. “They cannot wait for a pilot or an operator to say, ‘Now do this, now do that.’ We cannot wait for that kind of micromanagement of the vehicle.”

The other challenge is design: The vehicles should be powerful enough to carry any necessary weight, yet quiet enough to fly at undetermined low altitudes, she said.

Practicality questioned

Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, expressed mixed views on the practicality of eVTOL machines.

“They are going to be more energy-efficient than helicopters that use a lot of fuel, but they will be less energy-efficient than cars because they have to lift themselves,” she said. “From a cost perspective, they won’t be practical to go to the grocery store.”

Atkins said these machines may be better suited for remote places not easily accessible by road or in countries with difficult terrain.

“These vehicles can provide transportation,” Atkins said, adding that “these communities might skip right over having roads” and use the aircraft as their main form of transportation.

Fukuzawa said SkyDrive plans to begin selling a two-seat version of its eVTOL by 2023 for about $300,000 to $500,000. He projected the price will decrease by 2030.

“With any new technology, it will be very expensive in the beginning,” Aksaray said.

Atkins echoed that observation and said it’s unlikely that private citizens with a modest income would be able to afford one in the next 20 years.

“We’re at the entrant phase,” she said. “We don’t have the mass production we would need to buy down the costs of all the development, research, deployment and manufacturing at a small scale.”

Aksaray said we are on the verge of a new mobility revolution, reminiscent of the ones created by the invention of the automobile and the plane.

“If this becomes successful,” she said, “I think that would definitely create a different means of transportation. We are going to benefit a lot by reducing congestion and overcoming the geographical constraints of ground mobility.”

rn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},{"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start"},{"id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":{"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"{% extends "shell" %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit - count - 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.btn('Save Now') }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#}rn

rn

rn

You have {{ limit - count - 1 }} articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},{"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start"},{"id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":{"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"}]};

Source Article