SkyDrive Gives up on Offering Flying Car Rides at Osaka Expo; Startup Decides to Perform Only Demonstration Flights

Courtesy of SkyDrive Inc.
An illustrator’s rendering of a flying car being developed by SkyDrive Inc.

SkyDrive Inc., a startup that is working to develop and manufacture so-called flying cars, announced Friday that it has given up on offering paid rides to passengers during the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo.

The Toyota, Aichi Prefecture-based startup was chosen to provide flying car services at the Expo.

Though flying car services have been positioned as an eye-catching feature of the Expo, two of the four designated operators — SkyDrive and Marubeni Corp. — will conduct only demonstration flights without carrying passengers.

The aircraft being developed by SkyDrive is 13 meters long in total and can accommodate three people. It flies with 12 rotors and the company planned to conduct operate it commercially during the Expo.

The company has made the decision not to obtain an airworthiness certificate — a government certification that an aircraft’s parts and function are safe, which is a prerequisite for commercial services of this type – before the Expo.

The company determined that, in the limited time available, it would be difficult to pass the wide range of checks required to obtain the certificate.

Of the four designated operators, including ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co., only SkyDrive is developing flying cars on its own.

In March, the company announced it had begun manufacturing bodies for the crafts.

An official at SkyDrive said, “We are continuing to work hard on development with the aim of making flights at the Expo a reality.”