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Flying Vehicle Company Signs Deal With Drone Maker

SkyDrive and Marut Drones plan to jointly explore relationships and networks in India in a second Indian deal

Chuck Martin

January 16, 2024

3 Min Read
SkyDrive

Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker SkyDrive has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Indian drone manufacturer to develop futuristic air transportation in India.

SkyDrive and Marut Drones plan to jointly explore relationships and networks in India.

Marut Drones was established in 2019 by three IIT graduates with a vision to advance agriculture. The company aims to build the agricultural infrastructure of the future to provide the world with sufficient, diversified and safe food.

Marut builds drones for mapping, pesticide spraying, direct seeding and fertilizing crops.

SkyDrive recently signed a deal with global intelligent engineering and technology company Cyient in India for the joint development of its flying vehicle in that country.

The two companies plan to partner on work across product development, engineering, manufacturing and digital services, allowing SkyDrive to tap into the engineering ecosystem of talent and technology in India.

SkyDrive has been active in both the Japanese and Indian markets.

The electric aerial vehicles (EAV) maker agreed to sell flying vehicles to an aerial tourism association in Japan and received a preorder from the MASC General Incorporated Association, a group that promotes aerial tourism in Setouchi Islands in western Japan.

SkyDrive and MASC agreed to develop commercial operations and explore potential suburban routes for the SkyDrive SD-05 eVTOL flying vehicle.

The two organizations plan to deploy 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.

In October, SkyDrive received $82 million in a grant from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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

SkyDrive plans for up to 100 three-seater flying cars a year to be manufactured at the Sky Works Suzuki-owned plant in Japan.

SkyDrive and Suzuki formed a strategic partnership 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.

Read more about:

AsiaFlying Cars

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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