By Soeda Itsuki, staff writer
OSAKA–Flying cars are one step closer to ferrying attendees of the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo around the exhibition halls as a means of transportation, fulfilling the vision of local officials here.
The city government of Osaka, together with the Osaka prefectural government, on Sept. 14 signed a partnership agreement with SkyDrive Inc., a Tokyo-based entrepreneurial venture that develops drones for logistics.
Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura took a demonstration ride in an exhibited prototype that day.
“Taking on a new challenge is one of Osaka’s strengths,” Yoshimura said. “The image of it flying in the sky above resembles a sci-fi movie, and I want to make it happen.”
SkyDrive launched a project to develop a flying vehicle in 2018 and has conducted demonstration experiments and analyses as well as manned flying experiments.
Its latest prototype is a single-seated vehicle 2 meters high and 4 meters in width and length.
The flying vehicle is equipped with eight electric propellers and can fly at a maximum speed of 40 to 50 kph for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
Before such flying cars are put to work at the Expo, legislation still has to be passed allowing their use, city officials said.