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Automobile manufacturer Toyota is financing a new flying car project called ‘SkyDrive’. Engineers hope to have the vehicle ready by 2020, in time to light the flame at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

 

Toyota is providing significant financial support for a new flying car project called ‘SkyDrive’ being developed by Cartivator, a group of young engineers founded in 2012. The engineers announced last weekend that they had received funding of 42.5 million yen (around 345,000 euros) for the next three years from Toyota and the 15 associated companies in the group.

 

Capable of 100 km/h

 

‘SkyDrive’ will be 2.90 metres long and capable of flying at 100 km/hour at an altitude of 10 metres, and then driving on three wheels at a speed of 150 km/h, according to details of the programme which were published on-line, and which also stated that it would only have room for one person on board, i.e. the driver.

The project is being run during the engineers’ free time, since they are all full-time employees. "We are intending to complete our prototype by 2018," says Tsubasa Nakamura, head of technology at Cartivator, adding that their aim is "to light the flame at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games".

 

 

Uber and Airbus with similar plans

 

Other big names have recently shown interest of their own in flying cars. In April, Uber announced a series of partnerships which it hopes will see them ready by 2020 to show the beginnings of a futuristic on-demand transport system using small airborne vehicles.

At the same time at the Geneva motor show, European aeronautical group Airbus were unveiling Pop.Up, its latest flying car prototype.

 

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