Their flying car aims to be “the world’s smallest” and they have been conducting outdoor unmanned tests on it for over a year. According to The Asahi Shimbun, manned testing began last month at a protected indoor facility at Toyota Motor’s headquarters.
If all goes according to plan, a public demonstration will be possible this summer, while the first flying cars will be available for limited retail in 2023. Mass production isn’t scheduled to begin until 3 years later, in 2026.
The SkyDrive flying car aims to ease traffic congestion in big cities like Tokyo, but it would also serve in search and rescue missions or during emergencies when conventional infrastructure isn’t usable anymore. It’s small, if we’re to judge by the first photo of the prototype offered to local media: a one-seater, it stands at about 5 feet tall and under 12 feet long and 12 feet wide, with a pair of propellers at each corner.
SkyDrive is aiming for a top speed of 62 mph in the air and 93 mph when flying closer to the ground. Speaking of which, the engineers working at it say they believe they can make it fly as low as 3 feet off the ground. Of course, it will use vertical takeoff and landing technology.