The concept of flying cars has existed in the talks for many decades now and we see a glimpse of it coming into reality every now and then. Some manufacturers have made some really promising progress in building a real car that is capable of flying but large scale production is still pretty far away. In an attempt to bring the flying cars into practicality, the two Japanese companies – Suzuki and Skydrive have recently announced a partnership for the commercialization of flying cars. The two brands will work on the research and development of flying cars.
Currently, SkyDrive which is a leading manufacturer of flying cars in Japan is engaged in the development of a compact, two-seater electric-powered flying car with plans for full-scale production. With this collaboration, the two industry giants will begin to explore the ways in which they can coordinate in areas of business and technology, such as technological R&D, manufacturing and mass-production system planning, international market expansion, with an initial focus on India, and promotion of carbon-neutral initiatives.
In July 2018, SkyDrive was founded with the goal of “driving a once-in-a-century mobility revolution.” Since then, it has progressed the development of flying vehicles and freight drones while collaborating with others to promote a common vision of a future in which people utilise air mobility to go around in their daily lives. SkyDrive is the only firm in Japan to have successfully undertaken manned test flights, and as a member of Japan’s Public-Private Council for Advanced Air Mobility, it is now working on building a system for future air mobility. Cargo drones from the business, which can carry weights of up to 30kg, are already being utilised at industrial sites in Japan, mostly in mountainous areas. In the Osaka Bay area, SkyDrive plans to offer a flying vehicle service in 2025.
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Apart from Skydrive, a few other companies have been working on the development of flying cars and at the beginning of the year, we told you about the Klein Vision AirCar. The flying car which is powered by a BMW sourced engine managed to secure the Certificate of Airworthiness from the Slovak Transport Authority. Klein Vision’s flying AirCar underwent rigorous testing, including over 70 hours of flight time, to obtain the Airworthiness certificate. To achieve the European Aviation Safety Agency’s criteria, the evolving AirCar had to make 200 takeoffs and landings on cross-country trips (EASA).
While in other Suzuki news, recently the Japanese automobile manufacturer announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gujarat government to spend Rs 10,440 crore (roughly $1.3 billion) on the local manufacturing of electric cars (EVs) and BEV batteries. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 19, 2022, during the India-Japan Economic Forum in New Delhi, India.
Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private Limited intends to invest Rs 3,100 crore in BEV production capacity by 2025. By 2026, an additional Rs 7,300 crore would be spent in the construction of a BEV battery production factory (lane neighbouring to SMG). By 2025, Maruti Suzuki Toyota India Private Limited (MSTI) intends to invest Rs 45 crore in the construction of a car recycling plant.
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