SkyDrive has unveiled its SD-03 compact flying vehicle at CES 2022, which is the first time the company has displayed the full-scale model outside of Japan.
The Tokyo-based startup’s flying car was first displayed to the public at The Flying Car Technology and Exhibition Conference, which was held in the city in November 2021. The SD-03 has been designed to vertically take off and land to allow fast and safe door-to-door transportation anywhere, including uses for emergency rescue.
Designed to be the world’s smallest eVTOL model as a means of transportation, the SD-03 measures two metres high, four metres wide and four metres long – only requiring as much space on the ground as two parked cars.
The company conducted the first public flight demo of its new single-seater SD-03 flying car in Japan in August 2021, with a four-minute flight being carried out at the 2.5-acre Toyota test Field. It is one of the country’s largest test fields and home to the company’s development base.
Takehiro Sato, SkyDrive Chief Operating Officer, said: “The SD-03 model is the culmination of our expertise in drone technologies and aerodynamic engineering. What we want to see in the future is that SkyDrive’s emission-free vehicles take off from and land in your parking lot and helipads atop buildings, making door-to-door air travel a realistic choice of daily urban transportation. We are working harder and faster than ever to make this once-in-a-century mobility revolution a reality.”
SkyDrive has also advanced towards commercialisation, with the Japanese transportation ministry’s acceptance of its type certificate application for SD-05 — a major milestone that no other flying vehicle developers have reached in Japan. The model is currently under development and eyed as an air taxi for World Expo 2025 in Osaka.
In his New Year’s Press Conference held on Tuesday, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, said: “In order to implement flying cars ahead of the rest of the world in time for the Osaka-Kansai Expo scheduled to be held in 2025, we will not only work with the relevant ministries and agencies, such as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, but also with the private sector, experts, and local governments.
“Together, we will develop the necessary systems, such as safety standards for aircraft and operation management, and develop related technologies.”
CES is one of the world’s largest technology trade shows that takes place annually in Las Vegas. CES 2021 made history by bringing together more than 2,000 companies, including 700 startups online — a scale unheard of for all-digital events.