Toyota Reveals Plans for Flying Cars
In an interview yesterday at "Bloomberg's Big Thing Summit" in San Francisco, Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, Managing Officer of Toyota Motor, revealed the company's ongoing efforts toward the research and development of "flying cars." Yoshiki implied that the car that they are designing would neither revolutionize the current road systems nor be all that different from normal cars. These cars would not be flying out into 3-D road space; rather, they will be designed to hover slightly above the road in order to reduce friction, and thus improve efficiency. What Yoshiki is describing sounds essentially like a standard hovercraft.
Yoshiki refused to elaborate further on the details of the operation, its progress, or its commercial plans.
Although Google's driverless cars were on the forefront, Toyota's revelation seems to have had the greatest impact on the summit's audience.
David Friedman, the acting administrator of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said that the NHTSA "played up the significance of other car technologies [like that of Toyota's] that are likely to come to normal cars sooner. That could include new mandates that keep cars apart on freeways, as well as tools to keep cars from drifting on their lane, two things the regulatory group could require carmakers to include as standard features."