- Title: Toyota-supported flying car hopes to light the Tokyo 2020 Olympic flame
- Date: 3rd June 2017
- Summary: TOYODA CITY, JAPAN (JUNE 3, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF CARTIVATOR, TSUBASA NAKAMURA, SAYING: "It (a current prototype) has achieved merely 10 or 20 percent (of the final prototype) I think. Aiming to fly the prototype stably by the end of 2018, we need to work on a design that is capable of taking a person on board, which requires to solve issues like legal regulation and safety." STAFFS BUILDING PROTOTYPE PROTOTYPE VARIOUS OF STAFFS BUILDING PROTOTYPE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF CARTIVATOR, TSUBASA NAKAMURA, SAYING: "We're aiming to create the world's smallest (flying car) in order to fly it in any place. The smaller a flying car will be, the more places you can go in the end. It (a flying car) is better to be small, so you can go anywhere and won't take up space for parking, even in small urban areas such as Japan and South East Asian countries that are different from the U.S., for example, with large land." VARIOUS OF STAFF BUILDING PROTOTYPE SIGN ON STAFF'S T-SHIRTS READING (English): "FLYING CAR PROJECT FOR FUTURE GENERATION" (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF CARTIVATOR, TSUBASA NAKAMURA, SAYING: "For us, money (Toyota decided to finance) is a minimum amount, or I would rather say, is the first step in order to prove that we are technically capable of flying the prototype. So, we're now in a place where we may go further (to gain more supports from the company) depending on the results."
- Embargoed: 17th June 2017 10:52
- Keywords: flying car for Olympics Toyota flying car prototype cartivator prototype Tokyo Olympics
- Location: TOYODA, JAPAN / GRAPHICS
- City: TOYODA, JAPAN / GRAPHICS
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0046JQ3UPX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Engineers, supported by Toyota, demonstrated their flying car on Saturday (June 3), which they hope will be able to light up the Olympic flame for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
"Cartivator", a startup group of about 30 engineers including some young Toyota employees, started to develop a flying car "SkyDrive" in 2014 with the help of crowdfunding. Head of Cartivator, Tsubasa Nakamura, said they expect to conduct the first manned-flight by the end of 2018, even though they are still at the early stages of developing the vehicle.
During their demonstration, the current test model was able to get off and float for a few seconds. Nakamura said they are trying to design it to be more stable so that the prototype would be able to fly long and high enough to reach the Olympic flame.
Engineers of Cartivator hope their flying car will be the world's smallest electric vehicle, which can be used in small urban areas. Nakamura said the group hopes to commercialise their flying car in 2025.
Last month, Toyota Motor and its group companies agreed to invest 42.5 million yen ($380,000) in the project for the next three years. Nakamura said the group is working hard to improve the design, hoping to receive further investment from the company.
Companies in the world have been competing to develop the first flying car or vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles. Uber Technologies Inc announced its plan to deploy its flying taxi service by 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dubai. Airbus Group is also working on developing its flying car under its division called Urban Air Mobility.
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