Japan’s NEC Corp. tested a prototype “flying car” that looks just like a giant quadcopter drone on Monday after spending months designing it. The hovered in the air for an unmanned test in front of a group of journalists and will hopefully move on to manned flights soon. This prototype measures 3.9 meters by 1.3 meters, and weighs in at 148 kilograms. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The goal of this test was to see how such a heavy aircraft maintains its trim in flight and to see how differently it behaves compared to smaller, commercial drones. NEC has been testing it privately for several months, but the Monday was prototype’s public unveiling. The Japanese government believes in autonomous passenger drones so much that it drafted a road map for the development of flying cars back in December, describing them as electric aircraft capable of vertical landing and autonomous flight.
Ultimately, the government wants to introduce flying cars for logistics use in 2023, while personal transport would follow in the mid-2020s in rural areas, followed by 2030s for urban areas.