When The Jetsons first aired on television in the early 60’s, the world was instantly captivated by the idea of flying cars. Now, it looks as though that fictional idea might soon become a reality thanks to a company in Japan called SkyDrive Inc and its SD-03 flying car.
During a test flight that took place at the end of August, the SD-03, which holds the title as the worlds smallest electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, managed to hover 1.5 meters above the ground before circling a netted area for about four minutes, according to Associated Press.
Tomohiro Fukuzawa, head of SkyDrive told the Associated Press that he hopes the company’ flying car prototype can be made into a real life product by as soon as 2023. He does, however, note that the vehicle’s safety will play a huge role in achieving that goal.
“Of the world’s more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeeded with a person on board. I hope many people will want to ride it and feel safe.” he told Associated Press.
“While the demonstration only lasted for four minutes, the SD-03 is capable of staying airborne for for a total of 10 minutes. However, engineers are aiming to increase the flight to 30 minutes. If they are able to extend the flight time of the vehicle, the SD-03 will have more potential to become a success, meaning it could be sold in the lucrative Chinese market,” Fukuzawa said.
The SD-03 is still a while off from becoming common site in the skies above us though.
“If they cost $10 million, no one is going to buy them. If they fly for 5 minutes, no one is going to buy them. If they fall out of the sky every so often, no one is going to buy them,” Sanjiv Singh, professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University explained to the Associated Press.
Take a look at the demonstration below: