The future is here – almost. Toyota has taken the first step into creating flying cars that were envisioned in The Jetsons. If all goes well, the world may see its first flying car in 2020.
Flying Car Prototype
The Japanese carmaker is already testing a “flying car” in its very early stages. It cannot be called a prototype quite yet, as it is only made of scaffolding, rotors, and batteries, according to TechCrunch. It saw a small success as it rose a few feet before crashing down.
Toyota’s plan is to have a fully functioning flying car in time for the Olympics 2020 in Tokyo. It will then be tasked to deliver the torch, which is the signal of the official start of the games.
A prototype that can carry a pilot should then be ready for testing in 2019. So now the engineers over at Toyota are already pressed for time in the $400,000 project. They have roughly two years to develop a vehicle that can safely fly and land with a passenger. Can they do it?
Well, it is Japan we are talking about. The country is years ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to technology, so they might just be able to pull this off.
In the video below, the first mock-up of Toyota’s flying car was tested using a remote control on a school ground close to the carmaker’s base. The footage is not particularly exciting to watch as the vehicle was not able to stay suspended in the air, but it is interesting, nonetheless.
After this, Toyota will have to refine the tech and the model to create a more successful test subject next time. Hopefully, the project will bring better news in the near future as the company works together with Cartivator Resource Management.
Toyota Flying Car Availability
USA Today reports that Toyota has not yet decided whether it will bring the technology to consumers. Granted, it is too early to tell if it is possible to achieve at all, so expect the decision to come years after the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, if it hits the target at all.
However, the commercialization of flying cars is certainly on the company’s agenda as hinted in Toyota’s statement.
“Within Toyota, we are advancing broad research and development on ways of transportation — including aerial solutions — that can lead to a prosperous society in the future.”
For now, though, the main goal is to have one ready when the Olympics comes around. If the flying car that Toyota has come up in 2020 has a potential to be used as day-to-day transportation, that is when talks will probably happen.
The Future Of Transportation
This news sparks the discussion over the future of transportation. Japan is already thinking of traversing the air by means of a personal vehicle while other carmakers are slowly making gas-operated cars obsolete by replacing them with EVs.
A futuristic society is beginning to unravel right before our eyes. Next thing we know, there will be mini helicopter pads that will be built for flying cars. Houses will be equipped with landing strips for such vehicles, and there will be more walking space on the ground.
With the combination of automated cars and flying vehicles, the traffic congestion and accidents will be significantly reduced. The question is, will we witness these things in our lifetime? With the rate that technology is moving forward, this generation may even be able to enjoy even more high-tech stuff that we can only imagine for now.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]