There may be more autos recycled if Toyota’s partnership with Captivator works, and they produce flying cars.
With so many drivers having trouble just controlling their vehicles on the ground, there is little doubt that these cars that will hopefully fly up to 33 feet in the air will be in even more accidents.
Toyota Invests $350,000 in Flying Car
Toyota has given Cartivator a $350,000 investment to produce their car which will measure less than 10 feet long and be less than 3.5 feet wide. The current test vehicle has three wheels, and it can reach speeds up to 62 miles per hour. Many suggest that the current model will never become popular because the seating space for the driver is extremely small. Cartivator is currently billing the vehicle as the world’s smallest flying vehicle.
Volunteers Developing Self-flying Car
Many of the engineers working at Cartivator also work for Toyota, and the company has also pledged other engineers to help with the process of developing this vehicle based on drone technology. Most of the 30 engineers currently working on this project are volunteers who are employed by Toyota.
Toyota’s Flying Car Timeline
Toyota hopes that the vehicle will be ready to test by the end of 2018. Furthermore, they hope that the government will clear the way for a manned test before the end of 2019. If everything continues on schedule, then Toyota hopes that a driver using their car will light the flame at the Toyota Olympics in 2020. Cartivator hopes to start offering flying vehicles to some customers in 2023 with large-scale production starting in 2030.
Toyota’s Experimental Vehicles
This is not the first time that Toyota has experimented with innovative transportation. They have tested their electric iRoad which the company bills as a combination of bobsled and motorcycle meant to be used by city dwellers wishing to escape city traffic jams. The company has also developed the F2 which is a small pod that drivers steer by shifting their body weight.
Google Developing Flying Car
Cartivator’s vehicle called SkyDrive is meant to be used anywhere as it will not require a running strip or designated pad for landing and takeoff. This company is not the only one to experiment with flying cars. Google founder Larry Paige has already received Federal Aviation Administration approval for his Kitty Hawk flying car to fly in uncongested areas. This vehicle is designed to look like a jet ski with wings, and it is powered by propellers sitting underneath the vehicle.
Preorders Taken on Flying Cars
Aeromobil is taking preorders on its flying car which is a crossover between an airplane and a car. While consumers are encouraged to pay $1.3 million for this vehicle that can travel up to 224 miles per hour in the air and 100 miles per hour on the ground. Founder and CEO of c2i, Patrick Hessel, a manufacturer of composite parts of the aerospace and automotive industries, owns over 50 percent of Aeromobil.
Uber to Offer Flying Cars
Uber has also announced that they have entered into a series of partnerships with Dallas and Dubai to bring a network of flying cars to those cities by 2020. The company has no plans to build their own vehicles, but they have announced that they will gladly partnership with others wanting to develop vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. In a 93-page report the company says that flying cars will need to overcome a number of obstacles before they become practical including governmental regulations, public acceptance and monetary concerns.
Plug-in Hybrid Tilt-Rotor Vehicle
Boston-based Terrafugia is also experimenting with flying vehicles. They are developing a fixed-wing aircraft that can also be driven on roads. The company is currently developing their TF-X plug-in hybrid tilt-rotor vehicle that will be fully autonomous. They say that this vehicle will be able to go over 500 miles per flight.
Toyota and many others hope to see flying cars in the very near future. They hope that they will eliminate gridlock in cities while allowing drivers and passengers to get from one point to the next very quickly.