NEC unveils electric flying vehicle prototype in Japan

NEC Corp.’s machine with propellers hovers at the company’s facility in Abiko near Tokyo

According to local media that was present at the presentation, the entire flight of the auto lasted far less than the safety checks performed by NEC engineers.

Japanese electronics giant NEC and Cartivator think this is the transport mode of the future.

Equipped with four propellers and unmanned, the prototype moved using NEC's software to control flight and determine its location.

The flying auto uses four props, each around 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m), and has three wheels and a compact cabin that's created to eventually carry people. NEC has introduced the vehicle at a time when the app-based cab aggregator company Uber is set to launch commercial operations on its air flights from 2023.

A flying vehicle by Japanese startup Cartivator crashed quickly in a 2017 demonstration.

For users in the world, Japanese company NEC Corp has introduced a flying auto.

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Cartivator chief executive Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who was at Monday's demonstration, said their machines had also been flying longer lately. Other companies are working on autonomous cars that can fly.

The goal is to deliver a seamless transition from driving to flight like the world of Back to the Future, although huge hurdles remain such as battery life, the need for regulations and safety concerns.

NEC officials said their flying auto was designed for unmanned flights for deliveries but utilised the company's technology in its other operations such as space travel and cybersecurity.

Flying vehicles are expected to be used for tourism, leisure activities, disaster relief, cargo transportation and easing of traffic congestion, but ensuring safety remains a key challenge amid the lack of standards and rules.

Dubai has also been aggressive about pursuing flying cars. The Japanese government is cooperating in the making of these flying cars.

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