Toyota Backs Flying Car Project Started by Its Employees

May 16, 2017, 09:09
Toyota Backs Flying Car Project Started by Its Employees

According to Business Cloud, Japanese auto maker Toyota Motor has announced that it will give 40 million dollars to the Cartivator group to help with its "Skydive" flying vehicle project.

Toyota said 15 of its group companies will invest $375,000 over the next three years in the project, which has relied on online crowdfunding and other financing.

40 million yen roughly translates to £274000. The "Skydrive", developed by startup Cartivator, is expected to be flying by the end of 2018 and hopefully commercially available in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Nikkei.

Drone technology is being used to power the three-wheeled prototypes, which measure just nine-and-a-half feet by four feet, and have a projected top speed of 62mph.

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Flying vehicle development projects are taking off, led mainly by USA and European startups.

Measuring 2.9m by 1.3m, Skydrive claims to be the world's smallest flying auto. It has a projected top speed of 62 miles per hour while traveling about 30 feet above the ground.

Other firms in the US, China, Germany, and the Netherlands have been attempting to develop flying cars.

A prototype ready for a manned test flight is expected by the end of 2018, with a target to commercialise a flying auto in 2020, to fall in conjunction with the Olympics being hosted in Tokyo, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

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