Humans have long dreamed of traveling in flying cars, and Toyota Motor Corp. is hoping to make that a reality. The Japanese carmaker has invested $386,000, or 42.5 million yen, in a startup called Cartivator Resource Management, which is developing a flying car, an early goal of which is to have the car light the torch at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
The pilot project, called Sky Drive, is currently just a car-sized aluminum frame with eight propellers. It has so far managed to get up to about as high as eye level for several seconds, but Cartivator hopes to improve the model with the money from Toyota. One intermediary goal is to have the first manned flight in 2019.
The project’s leader told the Associated Press that he hopes eventually Sky Drive will be able to transition seamlessly from driving to flying, à la Back to the Future. And hopefully in time for the Olympics.