Toyota Supports Flying Car For 2020

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Toyota has long been rumored to have an interest in flight (see here and here for example) and recently they put some money into backing the Cartivator flying-car project, based in Japan. The investment is modest — about $375,000 over three years — but Cartivator is staffed by 15 young volunteer technicians, and the company says the money will go far to support work to “accelerate engineering development to achieve CRM’s aim to light the flame with a flying car at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Opening Ceremony.” Currently Cartivator is working to build a full-scale model of their design, which they have been working on for three years.

To realize the dream of a compact flying car is “very difficult,” the team’s blog acknowledges, “due to noise control, all-weather treatment, and security of absolute safety.” Details about the technology are scanty, but an illustration shows a small one-seat vehicle, with the passenger riding in a semi-reclined position beneath a canopy, with a large front window. It has two wheels beneath the passenger seat, one small wheel in front, and four horizontal rotors arrayed at the four corners. The team hopes to have a production version available for sale to the public in 2023, then start mass production by 2040 for both the developed world and the developing countries. By 2050 they hope to achieve “a world where anyone can fly in the sky anytime.”

The recent Uber Elevate conference also set a goal of 2020 to have flying-taxi test projects up and running in both Dallas and Dubai.

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