Toyota is backing an organisation working to develop a flying car in time for the opening ceremony at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Cartivator is a startup with around 30 volunteers working with drone expert Masafumi Miwa from Tokushima University to develop the Skydrive – a 2.9-metre long, drone-like vehicle.
Toyota have pledged more than $485,000 over the next three years and offered the expertise of its mechanical engineers to fuel development. With the support of Toyota and previous crowdfunding, Cartivator aims to get the car flying by the end of 2018 with hopes that a working Skydrive may be able to take part in the 2020 opening ceremony and light the Olympic flame.
The Skydrive has a projected speed of 100km per hour and will travel around 10m above the ground. According to its Zenmona crowdfunding page, Cartivators model would be able to take off from any public road and be “intuitive” and easy to control.
“This activity is an effort to make a dream vehicle – a flying car that gives dreams which [connect] to the next generation… development continues daily to realise the lighting of the Olympic flame to give dreams and aspiration to people all over the world,” said Cartivator technical lead Tsubasa Nakamura.