Suzuki Motor announced that it is forming a team with SkyDrive, a Tokyo-based startup, in order to get flying cars in the market. The firms will reflect upon working together on building mass-production capabilities and research and development. They will also decide upon a joint push in the Indian market, which is Suzuki’s largest market.
SkyDrive, which was founded in 2018, counts Itochu, the trading house, among its investors. It is one of Japan’s main participants in vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It had also organised a public demonstration of a vertical takeoff and landing flight that was manned, in 2020.
SkyDrive is currently working on a two-seater model. It also intends to provide flying car service in 2025’s Osaka Expo. Suzuki will contribute with its expertise in the manufacturing and development of smaller vehicles without investing in the startup itself.
Suzuki looks forward to eventually selling flying cars in India. Since congestion is a major issue in the country, the company wishes to ease this congestion. Suzuki currently generates about half of the company’s unit sales in India.
Other Japanese automakers too are making inroads into vertical takeoffs and landings. Honda Motor intends to commercialise a hybrid model in the 2030s, with a range of about 400 km. It can be used in the inter-city transportation of passengers in North America. Toyota Motor invested $34M in Joby Aviation, a U.S. startup, in 2020.