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Flying Car Company Expands to India; Suzuki Backed

A new partnership allows SkyDrive to tap into the engineering ecosystem of talent and technology in India

Chuck Martin

January 12, 2024

4 Min Read
SkyDrive's SD-05 eVTOL craft
SkyDrive

A Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has signed an agreement with a global intelligent engineering and technology company in India for the joint development of its flying vehicle in India.

SkyDrive and Cyient agreed to partner on work across product development, engineering, manufacturing and digital services.

This partnership allows SkyDrive to tap into the engineering ecosystem of talent and technology in India.

“We are pleased to sign the partnership with Cyient to jointly collaborate on advanced technology development for our eVTOL,” said Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive. “Cyient is one of India's leading engineering companies with a wide range of business operations around the world, including in the aerospace industry. Having Cyient as a partner to create the first eVTOL technical publication manual will take us closer to the future of the mobility revolution.”

SkyDrive recently agreed to sell electric aerial vehicles (EAV) to an aerial tourism association in Japan and received a preorder for vehicles from the MASC General Incorporated Association, a group dedicated to promoting aerial tourism in Setouchi Islands in western Japan.

SkyDrive and MASC agreed to work together to develop commercial operations and explore potential suburban routes for the SkyDrive SD-05 eVTOL craft. 

Related:Flying Car Company Partners for Aerial Tourism in Japan

The two organizations plan to fully EAVs in the Setouchi Islands with the involvement of local stakeholders to aid in the region’s economic growth and sustainable development.

MASC has established a dedicated exhibition hall as an educational showroom with a display of an eVTOL in Kurashiki-city. 

Other showrooms for EAVs have opened, such as by Florida-based Aeroauto. which has two in Florida and one being developed in Austin, Texas. A showroom also has been opened in Germany by EAV developer Pal-V.

SkyDrive recently partnered with the Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) to develop high-speed charging facilities for EAVs with the first station planned for 2024.

Tokyo-based SkyDrive and KEPCO started working together in 2022 leading to the new joint development project.

KEPCO now plans to enter the advanced air mobility (AAM) charging infrastructure business and has started accepting pre-orders from domestic and international customers for its charging structures.

In October SkyDrive received $82 million in a grant from the Japanese government.

The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry selected SkyDrive for the Next Generation Air Mobility Field, as part of an innovation promotion project.

Related:Flying Car Showrooms Set for Texas, Florida

The grant is a Japanese government initiative to support startup companies working on advanced technologies that address challenges in society.

SkyDrive plans for its three-seater flying cars to be manufactured at a Suzuki plant starting next Spring.

Up to 100 of the SkyDrive flying vehicles could be created annually at the subsidiary Sky Works at the Suzuki-owned plant in Iwata-city, Shizuoka.

SkyDrive and Suzuki formed a strategic partnership last year to collaborate on business and technology research and development, manufacturing and mass production systems and the development of international markets.

SkyDrive’s stated vision is “to create a future where everyone has access to eVTOLs as their daily transportation in Japan and across the world.”

SkyDrive has a deal to sell up to 50 EAVs to Solyu in Korea, which is in the business of aircraft leasing and financing and aims to use EAVs to aid the severe traffic congestion there.

SkyDrive was established in 2018 and conducted its first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019.

The company has applied for certification from Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law, which has to approve the design, structure, strength and performance of any newly developed aircraft.

Related:Flying Car Company Teams with Charging System Developer

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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