Japanese IT service provider NEC showed off their new invention -- a flying car -- in Abiko City on Monday.
This prototype seemed very impressive until it turned out to be a giant drone with wheels that only floated for a minute.
Using drones to carry people is nothing new. UAE's Dubai has been trying to build a drone taxi service since 2017.
U.S. car-hailing app Uber has been trying to cooperate with NASA in building its own drone-hailing service - dubbed as "Uber Air" - since 2017.
Chinese drone maker Ehang claimed to have successfully tested the world's first passenger drone called "Ehang 184" in 2018.
NEC's product is still special because it's not only a drone but also a wheeled vehicle that can drive on the street.
The company wants the vehicle to run like a normal car and fly when necessary, just like in sci-fi movies.
To achieve this, there are still many things that need to be done. Including:
- It has to fly for much longer than a minute and be able to move around in the air;
- There has to be a video showing the vehicle moving on the ground to prove that it can also function as a car;
- Safety regulations about this kind of flying object have to be created so they don't crash;
- Manned drones are big and noisy. Maybe we should just go back to helicopters - which are also big and noisy;
- Using drones to carry people may not be a better idea than digging underground tunnels for cars like the Boring Company is doing.
In conclusion, NEC's flying car may not too very impressive. But it's a good start for something bigger.
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