Every project has to start somewhere, and that’s really where we’re at with flying cars. They say you have to walk before you can run, and in the case of the Toyota flying car project, you need to hover for a few seconds and then crash before you can fly. Toyota has some time on their self-imposed timeline for a fully capable flying car, but they’ve got a lot of work to do.
Toyota brought some reporters to a schoolyard a short distance from their main facilities in Japan. The “car” in its current form is little more than a large quad copter with a platform and some rudimentary covering of the rotors. The first flight was… well, just watch and see for yourself.
Industrious YouTube commenters slowed down the footage and noticed something break on the left side at around the 12 second mark. The debris then impacted one of the blades/rotors, dropping the whole thing like a rock. We’re then treated to a nice slow pan of the schoolyard before the footage stops on a nice rusty ladder that may have once been part of a slide (purely speculative guess).
Toyota is partnering with Cartivator Resource Management, a small company that Toyota has invested in to bring the project to life. The ultimate goal and timeline for Toyota is to have a functioning prototype by 2020. That timing isn’t arbitrary at all, they’d like to be able to have their flying car deliver the Olympic torch when the 2020 Olympics open in Tokyo. They’ve still got some time, but at least early returns aren’t really filling me with too much confidence.
Aside from the obvious crashing issues, I’d imagine Toyota may also want to work on the volume, because that thing is loud. Hopefully they can work out some of the obvious problems in the next few years in order to hit their 2020 goal.
Last Updated on June 5, 2017.