The race to develop the world’s first practical flying car heated up after Japanese tech company SkyDrive successfully completed its first manned test flight.
The SD-03, which resembles a giant drone, took off in a specialised facility in the city of Toyota and was filmed.
The company claims the model is the world’s smallest electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle, and hopes for it to be ready for release in 2023.
The SD-03 features four engines and is roughly the size of two parked cars.
“We are extremely excited to have achieved Japan’s first-ever manned flight of a flying car in the two years since we founded SkyDrive, with the goal of commercialising such aircraft,” SkyDrive chief executive Tomohiro Fukuzawa said in a statement.
“We want to realise a society where flying cars are an accessible and convenient means of transportation in the skies and people are able to experience a safe, secure, and comfortable new way of life.”
Design director Takumi Yamamoto said, “In designing an unexplored, new genre of transportation known as the flying car, we chose the keyword “progressive” for inspiration.
“We wanted this vehicle to be futuristic, charismatic and desirable for all future customers, while fully incorporating the high technology of SkyDrive.”
SkyDrive has said more test flights will occur in different conditions by the end of the year, with plans for them to take place outside of their Toyota base.