Honda Motor has revealed that it has been developing a flying car. It plans to make the vehicle capable of relatively long-range flights using technologies it has amassed in its business jet project.
Honda says it has been developing electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft with the goal of launching it in 2030 or later. Flying cars are drawing attention as a next-generation mode of transport.
The Japanese firm says many similar vehicles now being developed by other domestic and foreign companies have a flight range of some 100 kilometers.
But Honda says its eVTOL will boast a range of 400 kilometers and allow transportation between cities.
Honda says it will develop the vehicle by leveraging expertise it has gained in its project to create a compact business plane known as the HondaJet. It says the knowhow will include electrification technologies for a gas turbine hybrid power unit.
Honda plans to conduct test flights of its eVTOL in the United States as early as 2023.
The company also says it will develop avatar robots with which their users can perform tasks and experience things remotely.
It says it is also developing small rockets with a goal to use them as launch vehicles for low-earth orbit satellites. It says it is aiming to make the rockets reusable by enabling at least some of their components to land back on Earth after their launches.
Honda R&D President and Representative Director Ohtsu Kenji told a news conference that the company is hoping to expand into new areas by creating technologies and products based on existing core technologies it owns.