by Jake Anderson, The MindUnleashed
Popularized most memorably by an air-borne DeLorean in Back to the Future 2, the vision of flying cars has been a persistent science fiction trope for many decades. However, the technological challenges and complications of social implementation have largely rendered the idea a no-go.
A Japanese tech startup, the Tokyo-based company SkyDrive, now says it plans to launch the first commercial flying taxi service by 2023. The company’s CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa goes further and even predicts that by the 2040s, there will be a trillion-dollar global market for electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).
According to Rajeev Lalwani, Morgan Stanley’s aircraft analyst, this market “could likely begin as an ultra-niche add-on to existing transportation infrastructure, similar to how helicopters operate today. They could later transform into a cost-effective, time-efficient method of traveling short to medium distances, eventually taking business away from car and airline companies.”
SkyDrive is one of over 100 flying car initiatives around the world – a race that includes Boeing Co., Airbus SE and Uber Technologies Inc. — but its plan is for a small two-seat vehicle with eVTOLs propellers in all four corners of the upper half of the craft, a design which Fukuzawa believes will enhance its safety. This battery-powered SD-xXX model would have a travel range of dozens of kilometers at 100 kmh (62 mph).
© 2020 The Mind Unleashed