A public test of a Toyota-backed flying taxi. This is what city transport should look like in 2023

The inefficiency of road infrastructure is an old and well-known problem, to which modern technology is looking for new and innovative solutions. One idea is flying taxis to obscure our skies from 2023.

Flying cars is an idea so banal, threadbare and obvious that it swarms with them in the works of 20th-century science fiction lovers. Practice, however, verified the dreams of enthusiasts: flying cars - although possible to create for decades - were an extremely costly and problematic solution. High fuel consumption or the lack of sufficiently long landing strips are only some of the problems that hold back the futuristic vision.

The subject of flying cars came back to us with a twofold strength after the extraordinary success of drones. Drones found themselves perfectly in our reality. From military reconnaissance to wedding photography, these flying machines are used by us every day, and the sight of them has become extremely common. Hence the idea to produce flying machines large enough to lift a person, preferably a few. This is how the concept of flying taxis sprouted, over which dozens of companies today, from Uber to Google, are bending over.

A startup backed by Toyota has just conducted the first public flying car test.

SkyDrive SD-03 is of course only a prototype. It is also very early, with space only for the driver-pilot. The machine made several laps, hovering little above the ground, undergoing a successful, not very spectacular baptism of fire. The test took place in Toyota's Japanese technology park, but the startup is already applying for permission to fly outside of laboratory conditions, using the common airspace.

The flying taxi co-financed by Toyota will ultimately fly 10 meters above the ground, at a speed of 100 km / h. Equally important, SkyDrive is to be able to lift at least two people: the pilot and the passenger. In this way, richer inhabitants of big cities will be able to move from point A to point B extremely quickly, eliminating the problem of traffic jams. Toyota boasts that their flying taxi is the smallest working VTOL machine, i.e. the one with vertical take-off and landing.

SkyDrive is designed to easily land on any road and in any parking lot.

The machine is unlikely to fly over buildings and skyscrapers, given its limited capabilities. A flying car will most likely hover over the existing road infrastructure, having priority signs and traffic lights in its nose. Of course, until there are so many flying taxis that the low-air urban traffic will also be subject to strict regulations.

A public test of a Toyota-backed flying taxi. This is what city transport should look like in 2023


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