The Japanese government is seeking to reduce the country’s traffic problem with flying cars and is enlisting the help of companies including on-demand transportation giant Uber Technologies Inc. and jet makers Boeing Co. (BA) and Airbus SE.
The government-led group plans to bring airborne vehicles to the Asian country within the next decade. The group currently includes 21 businesses and organizations, including a Toyota Motor Corp.-backed startup called Cartivator, ANA Holdings Inc., Japan Airlines Co. and Yamato Holdings Co., according to a statement from the country’s trade ministry in Tokyo.
“The Japanese government will provide appropriate support to help realize the concept of flying cars, such as creation of acceptable rules,” the ministry said. If Japan is able to quickly establish a legal system in which flying cars can function, it could get a jump start over countries like the US, whose Federal Aviation Association has been notoriously slow-moving on things like drone regulation.
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The technology, just like aviation, would need to win approvals from several regulators that can take many years. That would also happen only when safety standards are set by agencies, without which commuters won’t embrace the flying craft.
“It’s necessary for the government to take a lead and coordinate on setting safety standards,” said Yasuo Hashimoto, a researcher at Tokyo-based Japan Aviation Management Research. “They are trying to set a tone for the industry ahead of other countries.”
Japan’s Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters this month that flying cars could ease urban traffic snarls, help transportation in remote islands or mountainous areas at times of disasters, and can be used in the tourism industry.
It must be noted that on May 8, 2018 Uber unveiled flying car prototype that hopes to offer rides through by 2023, starting Dallas and Los Angeles. For this partner with NASA to design Urban air traffic control system.