Got a spare $680,000? You could buy this working hoverbike

midian182

Posts: 7,271   +65
Staff member
What just happened? Flying cars? Yesterday's news. What we want are hoverbikes. If you have a spare $680,000, you could buy one right now from a Japanese drone-making startup backed by one of the country's soccer stars.

The XTurismo Limited Edition comes from Tokyo-based A.L.I Technologies using its wealth of drone-building experience. The bike/jet ski-style body sits on top of a series of propellers, with a pair of skids on the underside for when it's on the ground. We've seen similar designs from flying vehicle companies before, including NEC's quadcopter-style passenger drone.

The conventional engine and four battery-powered motors allow the XTurismo to fly at 100 kph (62 mph). It can stay in the air for around 40 minutes, weighs 300kgs (661 pounds), and can carry 100kgs (220 pounds). Buyers will have to hand over 77.7 million yen ($680,000) and wait until the first half of next year for delivery.

"Until now the choice has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky. We hope to offer a new method of movement," Chief Executive Daisuke Katano told Reuters.

The latest video shows the bike hovering a few feet off the ground at a race track near Mount Fuji. Sadly for those with visions of soaring above cities on the XTurismo as traffic grinds to a halt below, its use will only be allowed on similar sites as the demo, at least in the near term—future regulation changes could allow the hoverbike on roads. Katano also envisions it being used by rescue teams to reach areas inaccessible to ground vehicles.

In addition to soccer player Keisuke Honda, A.L.I Technologies is being backed by big industry names, including Mitsubishi Electric and Kyocera.

The most recent flying taxi we saw was Airbus' latest generation of the CityAirbus, one of many eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) craft being designed for workers who want to cross cities in less time than what traditional transport options can offer.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,297   +2,540
There's no stopping technology.

Also speaking of not being able to stop...I mean, how would you stop this thing? Do you need to like gain altitude to slow down then slowly hover down to the ground to dismount? While inconvenient that might work...On places other than where this is coming from which is likely Tokyo, famously one of the biggest and most densley populated cities in the planet with tons of high raise and even "medium" buildings reaching 5 to 10 floors basically everywhere so gaining altitude, probably not ideal.

EDIT: Even the promo video just shows the pilot hovering with little to no horizontal movement at all, not sure if it's an early prototype or render of the guy was just terrified asking this same questions of "ok but how would I stop this if I need do?" and getting an answer of "We don't pay you to ask questions we pay you to test drive!"
 

Aryassen

Posts: 185   +220
....so, it is basically an xxxxxl drone. Using existing and prove drone-technologies (Li-ion batteries, electrix motors, rotors) on a larger scale. Not without its challenges, I'm sure, but where is the huge innovation to justifíy that ludicrous price tag?

On a sidenote, I must tell I absolutely love the racing/motoGP-style body position of the pilot while hovering around...at 1 mph... :)
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,424   +3,738
To echo Dimitriid's comment... where are the brakes?

Hard to ever see this in mass-production (even assuming the price comes down to something people could actually afford) without some way to guarantee they won't be plowing into the sides of buildings - or other vehicles....

Aslo... how long does it take to charge? 40 minutes of use... then... 6 hours to charge?
 

eforce

Posts: 560   +703
Hard to ever see this in mass-production (even assuming the price comes down to something people could actually afford)

People said that about every tech innovation, it just takes time.

First it will be for the rich and then eventually the peasants.
 

Xelions

Posts: 20   +19
Jetson One looks more fun but not for suburbs or cities. Probably noisy too. Finally a fracking joystick!

And no I didn't read the specs, I just saw the video.

First it will be for the rich and then eventually the peasants.
Wheres the peasant queue? I'm there! but for the Jetson One!
 

Q Wales

Posts: 29   +3
Is this anything new, weren't the Saudi police experimenting with more powerful motorbike versions of this years ago?
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,318   +534
To echo Dimitriid's comment... where are the brakes?

Why would you need brakes? They only slow down things. If you wanna go slowly, why are you even buying a hoverbike??

Okay, let's be serious now, can drones do stunts? Yes. Can they quickly change direction? Yes. Can they accelerate and decelerate quickly? Yes. But where are their brakes?

There are no brakes. They just increase the power of the front fans, the nose rises, and the air stream is now braking the vehicle. Exactly the same method used for changing direction and going forward is used to go backwards (which when moving forward is equivalent to braking). There.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,424   +3,738
There are no brakes. They just increase the power of the front fans, the nose rises, and the air stream is now braking the vehicle. Exactly the same method used for changing direction and going forward is used to go backwards (which when moving forward is equivalent to braking). There.
Yes... because drones are usually UNMANNED... think of the g-forces you would experience as a driver if you were to attempt to "stop" when going 100Km/h by abruptly changing direction and going backwards!
 

Bamda

Posts: 285   +137
This is the perfect item for those that purchased DDR5 memory kits and RTX 3090 graphic cards. LOL
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,623   +6,411
How about if we call this junk what it is, "a 2/3 million dollar "sky motorcycle"?

Even if you were able to get it approved, it's still a "fair weather cruiser".

I'm assuming that someone who could afford this novelty, would hire a driver to take them to work in bad weather, along with a hooker is case they got stuck in traffic

I'm also guessing that those speed and duration numbers, are given for a pilot on board only...Not to mention that 60 Mph, ain't even keeping up with traffic. (At least not whrn the highway is clear). The last time I summoned the courage to take I-476 S from Villanova on my bike, I read "80" on the clock, just keeping up with traffic.
 
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Markoni35

Posts: 1,318   +534
Yes... because drones are usually UNMANNED... think of the g-forces you would experience as a driver if you were to attempt to "stop" when going 100Km/h by abruptly changing direction and going backwards!

It doesn't instantly go backwards. It slows down gradually. The bigger the machine the gentler the movement. Relative to dimensions mass grows to the 3rd power, while surface grows to 2nd power. That's why a RC model plane is a lot more agile than a big plane. And small drones can change direction much faster than big "drones".

This one wouldn't be any worse than an ordinary hovercraft. Which means a very smooth ride.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,424   +3,738
It doesn't instantly go backwards. It slows down gradually. The bigger the machine the gentler the movement. Relative to dimensions mass grows to the 3rd power, while surface grows to 2nd power. That's why a RC model plane is a lot more agile than a big plane. And small drones can change direction much faster than big "drones".

This one wouldn't be any worse than an ordinary hovercraft. Which means a very smooth ride.
There's a reason why we don't use ordinary hovercrafts on roads either.. stopping distance (and turning) are atrocious.... if a pedestrian jumped on the road, they'd be toast - or you would as you careened across the road trying to avoid them.

Try reading this:

Notice the instructions for breaking and turning... and how you shouldn't be using the 180 degree stop over 35mph.... well, stopping quickly is really something you need to be able to do...
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,623   +6,411
The conventional engine and four battery-powered motors allow the XTurismo to fly at 100 kph (62 mph). It can stay in the air for around 40 minutes, weighs 300kgs (661 pounds), and can carry 100kgs (220 pounds). Buyers will have to hand over 77.7 million yen ($680,000) and wait until the first half of next year for delivery.
This looks like crowdfunding in disguise. I sincerely doubt they have the funds to put this into production, then wait, and let the buyers come to them