Toyota-backed SkyDrive successfully tested its latest SD-03 flying car earlier this week. This single-seat, electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle has two sets of counter-rotating rotors up front and two more sets at the rear, with each one being driven by its own electric motor in case of emergency. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Its total footprint occupies the space of around two medium-sized automobiles, while the size of the SD-03’s batteries, air traffic control technology, as well as other infrastructure issues are still being addressed ahead of commercial approval. The company hopes to have them in the skies by 2023 after it passes critical safety tests, according to Tomohiro Fukuzawa, head of the SkyDrive project.
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Many things have to happen. If they cost US$10 million, no one is going to buy them. If they fly for five minutes, no one is going to buy them. If they fall out of the sky every so often, no one is going to buy them,” said Sanjiv Singh, professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, who cofounded Near Earth Autonomy, which is also working on an eVTOL aircraft.