While everyone else seems to be in the race for who can be the first to bring a fully autonomous self-driving car to the world, Japan has its sights set a bit higher. Literally.
The Japanese government has set up a regulatory council that will come up with the rules and regulations that will govern the development, testing, and implementation of flying cars.
If flying cars sound too much like something out of a science fiction movie to be real, think again. There are already companies building prototype flying cars – they just might not be what you’re picturing.
They look more like an oversized drone or a mini-helicopter than a car. Most prototypes are electric vehicles which take off and land vertically. And since the technology is advancing to the point where companies are offering test-flights to potential buyers, the Japanese government is now looking for ways to regulate what could soon be a booming industry.
It’s not just regulation though. The government also hopes that by putting a framework in place, it will encourage new companies to choose to develop their technologies in Japan.
At first, the government sees the technology being used in mountainous regions of Japan, to let people fly to small nearby islands, or to assist in rescue and recovery efforts. Later though, Japan expects that flying cars will help to reduce traffic.
And that’s why you’re seeing an article about flying cars in Asia on a website about trucking in North America. Perhaps – eventually – truckers may not have to worry about four-wheelers cutting them off or causing traffic. The road could belong to trucks delivering freight that’s too heavy to join the flying cars in the sky.