Flying cars may have a shot at becoming torch bearers’ mode of transport as they embark on the Olympic Torch Relay.
Japanese startup Cartivator tested its Toyota-backed flying car at its development site in the Aichi prefecture of Japan on Saturday, it said in a statement. It’s still early days for the SkyDrive, however. The car “managed to get up as high as eye level for several seconds” before crashing to the ground, said the Associated Press.
The trial had to be called off after the propellers were damaged several attempts later. The team has time on its side, though, it said: “Our first target is to build the flying car and use it to light the 2020 Tokyo Olympic flame.”
The SkyDrive is the startup’s attempt at a compact flying car, which it hopes will be driven by Japanese citizens in 2025. Cartivator’s Technical Lead, Tsubasa Nakamura, said the team expects to complete the manned prototype vehicle by the end of 2018.
Upon completion, the vehicle should be able to take off from public roads and travel at maximum speeds of 100 kmh (62 mph) when flown at approximately 10 meters, or 150 kmh (93 mph) when driven on the roads.
Cartivator isn’t the only company racing to develop flying cars. Last month, Airbus announced ambitions to test autonomous flying vehicles by end of this year and have them take to the skies by 2020. Earlier, Uber and Singapore’s Ministry of Transport announced efforts to develop flying taxis as an attempt to ease congestion on the roads.
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