Toyota Invests in Flying EV Startup Cartivator
The latest automaker to join the innovation for the flying cars is Toyota, with it backing Cartivator, an initiative of 30 volunteers along with Masafumi Miwa, a drone expert at Tokushima University. The drone-like vehicle, ‘Skydrive’ will be able to soar up to heights of 10 meters above the ground with speeds reaching up to 100 km/h.
The 2.9-meter long car, when produced, will be the world’s smallest flying EV. According to the information on the Zenmono crowdfunding page of the company, the Skydrive will be able to take off from any road and be easy to control. With no commercial flying cars right now, the aim for Cartivator is to get the vehicle in the air by the next year and to have it commercialized before 2020 Tokyo Olympic so it can be part of the event.
Toyota has put in over 40 million($353,000) as well offered the expertise of Toyota’s mechanical engineers. Cartivator has additionally garnered around 2.5 million yen($22,000) through crowdfunding which shows people’s interest in the flying cars business.
With Uber planning to get an operational fleet of flying taxis by 2020, and a lot of other companies like Ehang working on creating world’s first operational flying car, the race to be the first in the league is important. The winner not only gets the bragging rights and a name in the history but also will gain in monetary terms.
Even after the cars will be functional, there will be a long way to go, with the government having to figure out on the licensing rules, training, and ATC.