Toyota Motors has decided to finance a flying car project that some of its young employees have been voluntarily working on.
Flying cars are drawing a lot of attention these days, with U.S. startups and aircraft makers increasingly deciding to enter the sector. Amid heated competition to develop next-generation mobility, flight is rapidly emerging as a promising answer.
The project is led by a group called Cartivator. It all started in 2012 when project leader Tsubasa Nakamura won a business contest — not an internal one. Its 30-odd members donate their free time. They have also received some outside help — from Masafumi Miwa, a drone expert and associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tokushima University, and Taizo Son, founder of GungHo Online Entertainment, a Japanese online video game developer.
Toyota and its group companies have agreed, in principle, to provide some 40 million yen ($352,982) to Cartivator, which has so far relied on online crowdfunding and other means for financing.