The SkyDrive SD-05 vehicle is being built by the SkyWorks manufacturing division in partnership with Suzuki

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

March 8, 2024

3 Min Read
SkyDrive started production of its flying vehicle at the Suzuki manufacturing plant in Shizuoka, Japan.
SkyDrive

A Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has started production of its flying vehicle at the Suzuki manufacturing plant in Shizuoka, Japan.

The SkyDrive SD-05 vehicle, which SkyDrive refers to as a flying car, is being built by Sky Works, the SkyDrive manufacturing division, in partnership with Suzuki.

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SkyDrive plans to operate its electric aerial vehicle (EAV) at Expo 2025 Osaka, Japan.

“Partnering with Suzuki, a renowned automotive manufacturer, is a momentous occasion for SkyDrive,” said Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive. “It is the beginning of a new phase.  We share a goal of quality, innovation and customer satisfaction, making them an ideal partner in our quest to revolutionize urban air mobility.”

The Suzuki manufacturing plant has the capability to produce 100 of the three-seater EAVs per year.

SkyDrive recently agreed to sell its EAVs 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 flying vehicle. 

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.

Related:Flying Car Company Partners for Aerial Tourism in Japan

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.

SkyDrive last year received $82 million in a grant from the Japanese government, when 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.

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

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 must approve the design, structure, strength and performance of any newly developed aircraft.

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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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