SkyDrive drives a little through the clouds with its manned SD-03 vehicle.
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2 min read
Futurama has come a step closer to the future.
A startup called SkyDrive posted a video of a pilot flying a car over the Toyota test field in Toyota, Japan. Toyota is funding the company and the project has been in the works for years. The ultimate goal: create a flying taxi by 2023.
Art gives a new meaning to the concept of Lyft.
"Of the more than 100 aircraft projects in the world, only a handful are successful with one person on board," said company boss Tomohiro Fukuzawa to The Associated Press. "I hope a lot of people want to ride it and feel safe."
Related: Toyota invests $ 349 million in Flying Taxi Startup
The single-seat car is powered by a battery and four pairs of propellers. In the video, it rises to six feet from the ground and hovers for about five minutes. Can't a drone do that? Maybe, but a human pilot manned this car, which makes this test flight particularly meaningful and impressive.
So far, the SD-03 can only fly five to ten minutes at low speed. But the next phase is to pump it to 40 miles per hour for a 30 minute flight.
The car is 13 feet long and six feet high, so it will fit two average parking spaces in a congested city.
"In developed countries, flying cars are expected to be used as a means of transport to clear traffic jams and respond in times of disaster, while in developing countries they are likely to be used as a means of transport that requires far less infrastructure." The company said in a press release.