Toyota is amping up the race to make flying cars the vehicles of the future. Japan’s largest automobile company has invested nearly $400,000 in Cartivator Resource Management to develop a flying car for a very special purpose. Toyota is hoping that this single driver vehicle will be ready by 2020, in time to deliver the Olympic torch along its final stretch to open the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A video was recently released showing an initial prototype being tested. These results, however, are less than spectacular, even with the interesting cinematography.
Toyota has also recently made headlines in acknowledging that their partnership with Elon Musk’s Tesla had come to a close at the end of last year. The automobile giant has since advanced their own electric car division to compete with Tesla’s popular line.
The team working on the flying car will use Toyota’s investment to improve the design of the vehicle. With these improvements, they hope that a prototype will be ready to be piloted sometime in 2019.
Their work with Cartivator is markedly more low-key than previous flying car concepts from Toyota. They introduced a futuristic concept car called the Concept-i at the most recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This concept had a lot more bells and whistles like an emotion reading artificial intelligence named “Yui.”
It is unclear at this point if either car will take off. Perhaps Toyota can give the flying car one last fighting chance to step out of the pages of science fiction and into reality.