The vision of a future with flying cars might not be as far-fetched as many people would assume. Experiments of a flying vehicle have recently taken place in Japan. The flying car was capable of hovering in a stabilized fashion for around a minute with the use of its four propellers.
Multinational electronics company, NEC, revealed the technology at a location in Abiko, a city roughly 22 miles from Tokyo. Two short displays were performed inside a large caged area, while onlookers were told to equip themselves with helmets as a safety precaution.
The Japanese government plans to utilize flying car technology within the next two decades, and they’re supporting the creation of a grand test course in the region ruined by the 2011 tsunami and the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima. There is also talk of using the cars to connect islands in the Mie resort area, which is often visited by Hollywood’s celebrity figures.
The trials ahead
Japan is hoping to become a leading example in the flying car sector, however, they are likely to face some competition from Dubai, which is also looking into such developments.
There are still significant challenges to overcome before flying vehicles are put into practice commercially. Battery life, regulations, and safety are elements that still need to be developed.
A flying car is also known as EVtol – electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. They are categorized as electric or hybrid aircraft with unmanned capabilities which can obviously execute vertical take-offs and landings. The futuristic vehicles are expected to be an improvement from helicopters. Helicopter maintenance can be costly, they are usually very noisy to fly, and they require trained pilots to operate them.
Uber’s own version of a flying car is reportedly in the works as well. Demonstrations of Uber Air are set for next year and commercial functionality is projected for 2023.