Toyota-backed SkyDrive has finally conducted a public, crewed test flight (via Observer) for its flying car after years of work. The startup flew its SD-03 vehicle around the Toyota Test Field in the city of Toyota with a pilot at the helm. While it…


Toyota-backed SkyDrive
 has finally conducted a public, crewed test flight (via Observer) for its flying car after years of work. The startup flew its SD-03 vehicle around the Toyota Test Field in the city of Toyota with a pilot at the helm. While it wasn’t autonomous, as you might have guessed, it showed that the aircraft could work as promised in the field.

The SD-03 is billed as the smallest electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle in the world, and it’s meant to usher in a “new means of transportation” for urban life. It has a total of eight rotors that help it fly safely even if there’s a motor failure.

It could be a long time before you see SkyDrive flying cars in action. The company is hoping for approval for flights beyond the test field by the end of 2020, and it expects a two-seat commercial machine by 2023. That lines up with Japan’s timeline for launching flying taxi service. Even so, this is another hint at a future where small, short-hop aircraft could help alleviate traffic (and ideally, speed up trips) in crowded cities.https://www.youtube.com/embed/58kEzTpPzS0?enablejsapi=1In this article: SkyDrive,  Toyota,  Flying car,  SD-03,  flying taxis,  transportation,  Aircraft,  videoJapan,  cartivator,  news,  gearAll products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.