Japanese passenger drone lifts off in short demo

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Several companies are working on autonomous flying vehicles, including Japanese firm NEC, which partnered with Japanese tech startup Cartivator to develop its quadcopter-style passenger drone.

The battery-powered machine had a demo on Monday, in which it hovered inside a cage at a height of around 10 feet for about 40 seconds before returning to earth. It might not have been the most impressive of feats—there weren’t even any passengers inside, and it was tethered to the ground—but it was among the first demonstrations of a flying car by a major Japanese corporation, writes Bloomberg. Cartivator hopes to start mass production of the drone in 2026.

Japan has grand ambitions when it comes to flying cars. It aims to use them for shipping goods by around 2023 and wants people to ride them in cities by the 2030s. It’s thought the vehicles could help reduce the traffic congestion present in some of the country’s busiest locations.

“Japan is a densely populated country and that means flying cars could greatly alleviate the burden on road traffic,” Kouji Okada, one of the project leads at NEC, told Bloomberg. “We are positioning ourselves as an enabler for air mobility, providing location data and building communications infrastructure for flying cars.”

Uber, Lilium, Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk, Audi, Airbus, and many more have joined the flying car bandwagon. Cartivator, meanwhile, has the advantage of being granted a permit for outdoor flights by the Japanese government.

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When you train to fly light aircraft and light jets like I did, some of the most intensive training is what to do in case of power loss or stalls.

With these Electric Vehicles and oversized drones...if there's power loss there's almost nothing you can do.

If the battery dies - so do you.

As you know, Lithium Ion batteries are anything but failsafe. They overheat, they lose efficiency, they can explode...

My recommendation, early on, is that the FAA pass a requirement that any of these machines absolutely must have a parachute like the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
 
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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
This is all for naught.

Think about the attributes of a luxury car - perfect sound insulation, perfectly smooth ride. This is is the exact opposite of everything that represents luxury. Not to mention just how ugly it is.

This won't lift off for another decade at least. The industry, I mean.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
My recommendation, early on, is that the FAA pass a requirement that any of these machines absolutely must have a parachute like the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
I doubt they would even come close to meeting production requirements without a safeguard/backup system in place, especially considering their size and weight.
On top of that, they will probably only take pre ordained, safer routes for the most part until they get closer to their actual destination, or the destination will be a location setup to receive them.
 
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I doubt they would even come close to meeting production requirements without a safeguard/backup system in place, especially considering their size and weight.
On top of that, they will probably only take pre ordained, safer routes for the most part until they get closer to their actual destination, or the destination will be a location setup for receive them.

Regulations for cars have made cars heavier and larger. There's no reason requirements such as a parachute system can't be incorporated into future designs. OTHERWISE: they won't be allowed to fly.