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'Flying Car' Takes Off In Japan With One Person On Board

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'Flying Car' Takes Off In Japan With One Person On Board

A flying car that has been developed in Japan has finally taken off, paving the way for a full commercial release in years to come. Check out the footage below:

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The airborne one-person vehicle is made by a company called SkyDrive - just one of several 'flying car' based projects that are currently being undertaken around the world.

OK, so the flight was only a short one, but it's still a flying car, isn't it? Imagine being told that something like this would exist outside of science fiction films when you were growing up.

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We are truly living in the future, folks.

In the video, you can see the car - which is equipped with several propellers - lifting several feet off the ground and hovering there for a few minutes.

Credit: SkyDrive
Credit: SkyDrive

That's impressive enough, but maybe one day we'll all be zooming around our cities in these things at speed, desperately trying not to crash into one another.

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Incidentally, the chief concern on this project is safety. Of course, that's going to be the main problem going forward.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive, reckons the product could be ready to become reality in the next three years, but only if safety can be guaranteed.

He explained: "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."

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As it stands, the vehicle can only remain airborne for five or ten minutes, but the team hope to be able to extend that to half an hour before too long.

That would hopefully make the product much more appealing. The manufacturers hope that they can eventually export the vehicle to China.

It's not quite like a helicopter, but it's not quite an aeroplane, either.

Credit: SkyDrive
Credit: SkyDrive
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SkyDrive uses 'evtol' - which stands for electric vertical take-off and landing - meaning it should eventually be able to transport people from point to point with accuracy.

If it is a success, it could spell the end of airports, traffic jams, and - unfortunately for them - pilots. However, replacing long-haul flight is unlikely.

There are still a number of challenges to overcome. For example, who would control where these vehicles can go? Some sort of air traffic control must be necessary.

Oh, and the battery sizes need to be sorted out.

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Sanjiv Singh, a professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University that is also working on an evtol aircraft, summed it up by saying: "Many things have to happen."

He added: "If they cost 10 million dollars, no-one is going to buy them. If they fly for five 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."

Either way, it's an exciting project.

Featured Image Credit: SkyDrive

Topics: Science, World News, Interesting, Technology, Weird, Cars

Tom Wood
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