NEC's 'flying car' is an over-sized drone with wheels
By Gong Zhe
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

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.