Flying Car Designed to Land on Rooftops; Japan Grants $82M

SkyDrive flying vehicles are scheduled to be manufactured at a Suzuki plant starting in 2024

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

October 20, 2023

3 Min Read
The interior of SkyDrive's eVTOL flying vehicle.

A Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has been granted $82 million by the Japanese government.

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

The grant is a Japanese government initiative to support startup companies working on advanced technologies that address challenges in society and back projects with high potential for growth and impact.

SkyDrive recently announced that its flying cars will be manufactured at a Suzuki plant starting in the Spring of 2024 through a new subsidiary.

Up to 100 of the SkyDrive flying vehicles could be created annually at the subsidiary Sky Works Inc. 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 including India.

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.”

“It features a unique patent pending rotor frame technology that allows it to land on rooftops, making it suitable and accessible aircraft for family, friends and commuters with an affordable operating cost per person,” according to SkyDrive.

Related:Suzuki to Start Building Flying Cars in 2024

SkyDrive has a deal to sell up to 50 electric aerial vehicles (EAV) to an aircraft leasing company 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.

The certification applies to SkyDrive’s SD-05, the flying car SkyDrive plans to launch in an air taxi service in 2025.

SkyDrive earlier teamed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to improve noise reduction on eVTOL vehicles. 

While electric engines enable lower noise operations, SkyDrive aims to create EAVs that take off and land in neighborhoods and are used as a daily form of transportation.

The aerial agency already has noise source identification technology, which the joint venture plans to use as a starting point. In the study, the responsibilities are divided.

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Related:Suzuki Partners With SkyDrive to Develop Flying Cars

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, 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 title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "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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