Toyota backs company building flying vehicle

Toyota backs company building flying vehicle

Toyota backs company building flying vehicle

Toyota (TM) is joining forces with a group of related startups working on flying auto development. The Japanese company is financing the flying vehicle project Skydrive, led by a group called Cartivator, Nikkei reported.

Toyota's financial contribution to Cartivator is relatively small if you're Toyota: around 40 million yen (a tad over $350,000). The "Skydrive", developed by startup Cartivator, is expected to be flying by the end of 2018 and hopefully commercially available in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Nikkei. Of course, specific details on how the vehicle alternates between the modes and its effective range are still unanswered as development is still in progress. SkyDrive uses drone technology to engage flight and has three wheels for land travel.

Measuring 9.5 feet by 4.3 feet, the group also claims it to be the world's smallest flying auto. Toyota's goal is to get the auto flying by next year and have it commercialized in time for the 2020 Olympic games where they are hoping it can be used to light the Olympic torch.

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Target specs on the site suggest that SkyDrive engineers are aiming for a flight speed of about 62 miles per hour at a roughly 33-foot altitude, plus a driving speed of about 93 miles per hour.

United States and European venture companies are also accelerating their efforts to produce flying cars as next-generation vehicles.

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