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Science
15 May 2017

Toyota hitches its flying car dream with a volunteered project

Toyota jumps into the flying car hype

Looking at the acute vehicular congestion on the streets, investing on the next-generation mobility by automobile companies is a smart move and the chances of making huge profits are also high.

Toyota agrees and is now going to invest 40 million yen in a Japanese flying car project, adding one more entrant in the race to get vehicles flying.

Here's all about it.

In context

Toyota jumps into the flying car hype
Cartivator's ambitious Skydrive project

Funding

Cartivator's ambitious Skydrive project

Toyota and its subsidiaries plan to invest 40 million yen ($352,982) in the flying car project by the Cartivator group, comprising of 30 volunteers who devote their free time to this project.

Previously reliant on crowd-funding, Cartivator plans to have a working prototype ready by 2018-end and launch the commercialized version by 2020 in order to coincide with Tokyo's hosting of Olympic Games.

Steps

Investing in the new

Toyota is taking bold steps, from creating a technology start-up fund to starting an R&D center in USA for AI related-research and recently deciding to spend 1.05 trillion yen in research and development.

All these come in lieu of Toyota's Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada's rumored decision that "things will not progress if you wait and provide money only when the technology is ready."

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A 'car that flies, a plane that drives'

Flying car

A 'car that flies, a plane that drives'

Dutch company Pal-V developed Pal-V Liberty that comes with the tagline 'car that flies, a plane that drives', is ready and is currently going on sale for £425,000, with the first delivery of the same scheduled for the end of 2018.

This road-legal and legal to fly contraption is essentially a gyroplane, which folds its wings and becomes a car with three wheels.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk's flying car's successful test run

Google's Larry Page backed Kitty Hawk recently shared a video of its open-seated, one seater, working prototype making a test run over a lake. It plans to make these contraptions available in the market by 2017-end.

However, Kitty Hawk aircraft is designed to be flown over fresh waters and is, therefore, not suitable for day-to-day commuting.

You can Uber a flying taxi by 2023

Uber

You can Uber a flying taxi by 2023

Uber has ambitious plans of making on-demand flying cars a reality by 2023.

The goal is to "enable customers in the future to push a button and get a high-speed flight in and around cities.

"The firm said that these cars will be environment-friendly with zero emission and minimal noise and will cost its customers as much as a normal car ride eventually."

Dubai

Dubai flying car is ready for July date

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) has finished the test runs for its Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) dubbed EHANG184 and plans to start operations this year.

Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director general said, "The future is now in the making. Our talk about autonomous vehicles has become a reality. It is now high time to move to autonomous aerial vehicles."

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