Japanese Automaker Suzuki, Start-up Firm Collaborate on ‘Flying Cars’

Courtesy of SkyDrive Inc.
An artist’s rendition of a flying car that Suzuki Motor Corp. and SkyDrive Inc. plan to create.

Suzuki Motor Corp. on Tuesday announced a tie-up with startup firm SkyDrive Inc. to manufacture so-called flying cars. Flight-capable vehicles are expected to become a next-generation mode of transportation.

SkyDrive, based in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, is currently developing a flying car model and aims to manufacture the vehicle at Suzuki group plant in Shizuoka Prefecture from around 2024.

The prototype measures about 13 meters long, 13 meters wide and 3 meters tall. It is designed to accommodate three people, including the pilot.

Utilizing 12 electric-powered rotors to provide lift, the prototype can fly for about 15 kilometers at a maximum speed of 100 kph. SkyDrive aims to operate its flying car at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.

“We hope our products can help make air space-usage a day-to-day affair,” Suzuki Motor President Toshihiro Suzuki said.

Flying cars are generally quieter than helicopters and do not emit carbon dioxide while in flight. There are hopes that such vehicles can be used to transport people to and from remote islands and to tourist spots.

In the meantime, flying car initiatives continue to gather pace both domestically and overseas.