It is one of the classic sights in all science fiction cinema, especially when depicting the future. How many times have you seen a flying car sweeping past a building in movies like `Blade Runner`, `The Fifth element` and `Minority Report“ However, one of the stables of futuristic thrillers may be about to become a reality?
This comes after the news a Japanese company has tested a flying car. NEC, the electronics firm, demonstrated the vehicle inside a massive cage at a test site in Abiko, a city and Chiba Prefecture; an administrative subdivision, near Tokyo.
The flying car is often referred to as an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft or EVtol. During the demonstration, using four propellers, resembling a drone, it managed to rise off the ground for sixty seconds. The test vehicle then repeated the action in what is regarded a successful experiment, but barely scratches the surface of what the government of Japan has in mind for flying cars.
An EVtol is categorised as an electric or hybrid-electric aircraft, with driverless possibilities and the ability to land or take off from a vertical position. Amazingly, the plan is for such gravity-defying vehicles to be in common usage by around 2030. However, before they can become an everyday sight on the roads, or floating above them, they still have various setbacks, such as calls for regulations and concerns over safety and how long the battery lasts, amongst other considerations.
Two years ago, the Japanese start-up firm Cartivator tested a flying car which unfortunately crashed, although the company says the technology has advanced so much they can now fly longer in the air.
NEC is now among over 80 companies, as well as Toyota Motor Corp and video game firm Bandai Namco Holdings, involved in the sponsorship of Cartivator’s flying car.
Japan is still looking to lead the field in the production of this incredible vehicle but may face stiff competition from Dubai, which is also developing flying car technology. Uber is bringing out its own variation of flying car technology in the US; Uber Air, intended for demonstration fights next year and set to begin commercial operations three years after that.
This goes to show you that, from Japan to Dubai to the US, flying cars are no longer science fiction but are becoming a reality, all around the world. They may come a time when you could fly to the airport to catch a plane, and it might be inside ten years. Just imagine that!