SkyDrive, the Japanese eVTOL aircraft developer, has joined an ongoing roundtable which focuses on the implementation of ‘flying cars’ in the city of Osaka.

The roundtable was set up as the core organisation to accelerate the initiative led by the Public-Private Conference for Future Air Mobility, which was set up by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Transport and Industry (METI). An inaugural ceremony and first meeting of the roundtable was held on November 17th.

In a press release announcing the news, SkyDrive said: “We see the Osaka-Kansai Japan World Expo 2025 as a milestone on the road toward the full-scale realisation of an air mobility society and as such, will aim to take a leading role in the upcoming roundtable conferences, seeking to drive forward the discussion and organise practical demonstrations of how flying cars work and can transform urban mobility.

“We intend to liaise with all concerned parties and make concrete proposals to contribute to the work of the Public-Private Conference of Japan and will strive to improve social acceptance of flying cars, in partnership with a group of stakeholders that we expect to include about 40 companies.”

At the roundtable’s inaugural ceremony, Hirofumi Yoshimura, the Governor of Osaka Prefecture, added: “Osaka, the bay area in particular, is suitable for the flying car business both geopolitically and as an economic hub. The spirit of Yatteminahare (Just do it) is valued in Osaka. Just get on with it.”

In future, SkyDrive will work on the creation of a new industry in cooperation with the national government, Osaka Prefecture, and the companies participating in the roundtable, with “Safety is our first priority” always in mind.

The company exhibited its SD-03 ‘flying car’ design at the Flying Car Technology Exhibition and Conference in Tokyo last week, after completing a successful flight demo and raising ¥3.9 billion in Series B funding in August.

The SD-03 measures two meters high, four meters wide and four meters long, only requiring as much space on the ground as two parked cars.

The powertrain consists of electric motors that drive rotors deployed in four locations, with each location housing two rotors that individually rotate in opposite directions, each driven by its own motor.

The use of eight motors is a means of ensuring safety in emergency situations during flight and as such aims to address compliance standards and allay potential regulatory concerns.