For decades, like driving on a highway, the dream of flying in the sky may become more and more illusory.

Japan’s SkyDrive is one of many “flying car” projects in the world, although some people have conducted a moderate but moderate test flight on an airplane.

In a video shown to reporters on Friday, a device that looked like a sleek, propeller-mounted motorcycle was lifted a few feet from the ground and hovered in a meshed area for four minutes.

SkyDrive head Tomohiro Fukuzawa said that he hopes that “flying cars” can become real-life products by 2023, but he admits that ensuring flight safety is essential.

He told the Associated Press: “In more than 100 flying car projects around the world, only a few people have successfully boarded the plane.”

“I hope many people will ride it and feel safe.”

Fukuze said that so far, the machine can only fly for five to ten minutes, but if it can fly for 30 minutes, it will have greater potential, including exports to China and other places.

Unlike airplanes and helicopters, eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles can provide fast point-to-point personal travel at least in principle.

They can eliminate the hassle of airport and traffic congestion and the cost of hiring pilots, and they can fly automatically.

Battery size, air traffic control and other infrastructure issues are among the many potential challenges to commercializing them.

Sanjiv Singh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Robotics, said: “Many things must happen.” He is the co-founder of Near-Earth Autonomous Research near Pittsburgh, which is also developing eVTOL aircraft.

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“If they cost 10 million U.S. dollars (about 73 crore rupees), no one will buy them. If they fly for five minutes, no one will buy them. If they fall off every other day, no one will buy them. Singh said in a telephone interview.

The SkyDrive project has been a volunteer project called Cartivator since 2012. The project is funded by top Japanese companies, including car manufacturer Toyota, electronics company Panasonic and video game developer Bandai Namco.

A demonstration flight three years ago performed poorly. But it has improved, and the project has recently received another round of funding, including 3.9 billion yen (approximately Rs 2.71 billion) from the Japan Development Bank.

The Japanese government is optimistic about the “Jetsons” vision and proposed a “road map” for commercial services by 2023, and expanded commercial use in the 2030s, emphasizing its potential to connect remote areas and provide disaster relief lines.

Experts compare the buzz of flying cars with the Wright Brothers (Wright Brothers) aerospace start and the Ford T (Ford Model T) automotive industry.

Lilium of Germany, Joby Aviation of California and Wisk, a joint venture of Boeing and Kitty Hawk, are also working on the eVTOL project.

Sebastian Thrun, chief executive of Kitty Hawk, said it will take time for airplanes, mobile phones and self-driving cars to win recognition.

He said: “However, for eVTOL vehicles, the time between technology and social adoption may be shorter.”


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