tech

When cars fly? Japan wants airborne vehicles to take off

32 Comments
By Behrouz Mehri

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If there had been so many “it can’t be done” people in history, we’d still be in caves. Here, it is already being done, and the new model is even cooler:

https://youtu.be/nnF2yua4KIw

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan would seem like the last place to welcome flying cars. Other innovative vehicles like Segweys have faced myriad headaches in Japan thanks to its uptight regulators. My rollerblading friend faced nothing but harassment in Japan for doing what was considered perfectly normal in London.

In Singapore, I saw lots of passengers on e-scooters. Seen basically none in Tokyo. This is still a fusty old place.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hooktrunk2Aug. 30  08:00 am JST

BTW, I wonder when truly levitating cars that don't rely upon magnets or propellers are going to be developed?

When scientists develop a technology to make 1 ton of ordinary completely unaffected by gravity. So in other words, never.

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 sites for their flying taxis in development, they have thought through how it will work in the real world.

It's always good to have fantasies but 'thought through how it will work in the real world' is another chapter :)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Forgot to add have a look at Lilium’s and Airbus sites for their flying taxis in development, they have thought through how it will work in the real world.

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Sorry, all fantasies of having your own “Jettsons” flying car that you jump in to outside your door and fly away in are going to remain just that.

Flying “cars” will be more like a taxi or Uber you access at need, to start with only in major cities, with very tight and probably computer managed air traffic control in rigidly defined air corridors and to be honest I don’t see this happening to any great extent until they are driverless and AI controlled otherwise as posters above have said it would be a disaster waiting to happen.

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Japan can't get out of its own way quick enough for the speed the technology economy moves these days. It worked in the Sony Walkman days, but no longer. 

The 1980s are over but the manufacturing sites for consumer products of Japanese companies are superior to most US equivalents. The car industry is continuing to thrive while embracing the latest technologies.

By the time a Japanese company has enough meetings about meetings to figure out if it's acceptable to move a 28-year old kid's innovative idea ahead of all the oyajis in the company, the market they hope to serve is already 3 miles down the road

Apple didn't reach their current status immediately and these oyajis were also active in the eighties..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Flying cars are expected to solve issues of transportation in remote islands or mountainous areas, or rescue operations and goods transport in disaster,"

I'm hugely confused here. Don't helicopters already solve these issues?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Given the opposition here yesterday to driverless cars, there is surprisingly few voices of concern here today, despite flying cars being potentially more dangerous.

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Japan need for aprovall anti-spy legislation before doing anything else.

Many technologies have been stolen by Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese companies such as manufacture of LCD panels and flash memories.

Japan is the paradise of spies.

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Flying cars will not be "free-flying" esp over any metropolitan or built up areas.

They will follow designated grid flight paths controlled by beams - laser or otherwise, gps systems, AI networks / navigation and as yet to be devised other technologies. There will be no hands on, dipping or diving or shooting a short cut, as all will be automated.

Humans are way too unreliable to have even a little pinky in this pie.

Rural areas and over water may see a certain relaxation, but there still will be guided pathways chosen by a "higher" autonomous system.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But would I still have to pay these ridiculously expensive tolls?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One would think Japan has much more pressing issues to address than dreaming about flying cars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Flying cars.... at this point it is just a matter of approving a certain standard but one major ingredient still massively lacks.... better batteries that yield more charge.... I mean like 5 to 10 times more.

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Can't see that people will be given licences to fly like this any time soon unless training is to the level of current pilot or helicopter licences.  Imagine the carnage if it were to current driving test standards.

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They wouldn't even be able to pull up from driveways with all the overhead cables and powerlines.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Terrafugia and others already have working models

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I hope there's a completely made up "S crank turn" on the flying vehicle road test for licenses as well. What better way to drive than to be tested on things that don't exist in the real world, but only on driving school courses.

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With population boom in Tokyo and Osaka, traffic jams getting bigger everyday, this is an excellent idea. Pilotless drone vehicles (cars and bus) could get people to the office in no more than 5-10 minutes maximum, compared to 1hour or more in car. More work will be done = further big boost to economy.

I look forwardto the government making big investment in producing pilotless drones. Furthermore, Japanese government can sell the technology and Drones to the world.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Flying aircraft tech have just started. everyone seems to have good chances to lead the world. Such a Sony walkman seems a little dinosaur in past history, nothing to do with new technology in the future.

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Maybe at first, airborne cars should be run like public transport, with professional and trained pilots to operate them. But does Japan need them though? There seems to be traffic only in major cities and the distances between destinations are about commuting, walking or cycling distance. This would be beneficial for chartered flights and tours. Anyway, I'm interested how this is going to play out

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan can't get out of its own way quick enough for the speed the technology economy moves these days. It worked in the Sony Walkman days, but no longer.

By the time a Japanese company has enough meetings about meetings to figure out if it's acceptable to move a 28-year old kid's innovative idea ahead of all the oyajis in the company, the market they hope to serve is already 3 miles down the road.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Accidents waiting to happen!!!

I see a market for sky insurance though!!

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When many cars fly all over sky all the time! Everyone would be more worried about more crashes than airplanes. If such flying car hit my head, I would be dead?

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@Alfie

That was a really cool video. Who would've thunk it?

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The initiative aims to draw up a roadmap by the end of the year on commercialising flying cars, a concept that so far remains largely theoretical.

Largely theoretical? Not really, Larry Page has three of them already.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/19/17586878/larry-page-flying-car-opener-kitty-hawk-cora

Cartivator is hoping to launch a manned prototype by the end of 2019 so it can be used to light the Olympic flame when Japan's capital Tokyo hosts the Games in 2020.

Aha! Maybe if Shinzo hadn't decided to spend $90 billion on the Maglev they'd have enough money for something other than a big drone?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whenever I see them in movies like Bladerunner and Fifth Element, etc. they look and seem plausible, but whenever I read news of moves to make this a reality(of sorts), it terrifies me. People have enough trouble controlling automobiles grounded to roads as it is. Helicopter and airplane pilots go through years of training and retraining. Lots of questions...

BTW, I wonder when truly levitating cars that don't rely upon magnets or propellers are going to be developed?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Meet George Jetson.

His boy Elroy.

Daughter Judy.

Jane. His wife.

Da da da da....

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why though

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seeing how the drivers here drive on roads I would be terrified if they were over my head...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

They better be cheaper to operate and maintain than helicopters or this is going to flop.

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Japan is trying to build a roadmap to put commercial 1-ton+ piloted vehicles over our heads, but if you want a sub-1 kg remote controlled drone, it's regulated to such a degree that makes it unlikely anyone would actually get one.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

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