|Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura rides a full-scale "flying car" model of SkyDrive Inc. on Sept. 14, 2021, in Osaka. The western Japan prefecture and city governments formed a partnership agreement with the Tokyo-based developer the same day to support the project to put it into practical use. Seen second from left is Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui and second from right is SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa. (File photo by=Kyodo)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] TOKYO: A startup in Japan aims to offer people rides in such vehicles in about four years' time at the World Exposition in Osaka, Kyodo reported. SkyDrive Inc., a developer of flying cars founded only three years ago, demonstrated the country's first public test flight of a manned vehicle in August last year and hopes to introduce such mobility as an option that has advantages over existing modes of transport.
"Our mission is to drive a once-in-a-century mobility revolution," CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said Wednesday in a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. The Tokyo-based company, with about 100 employees like engineers from Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., signed a partnership agreement with Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka this month to work toward the practical utilization of its flying cars in the western Japan metropolis ahead of the World Exposition.
The Japanese government is also pushing the development of flying cars, in collaboration with private companies in the logistics and automobile sectors, for purposes such as transportation in rural areas and disaster relief. Meanwhile, about 150 countries and 25 international organizations are expected to participate in the exposition, which will take place between April 13 and Oct. 13, 2025. Over 50 nations had confirmed their participation as of Aug. 20, according to the organizers.