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Flying cars planned for 2025 Osaka Expo

The plan is aimed at offering beautiful views of the Kansai metropolitan area including Osaka and the Seto Inland Sea off western Japan to many people, as well as spurring the spread of flying cars across the country. (Screengrab)
The plan is aimed at offering beautiful views of the Kansai metropolitan area including Osaka and the Seto Inland Sea off western Japan to many people, as well as spurring the spread of flying cars across the country. (Screengrab)
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30 Apr 2022 04:04:00 GMT9
30 Apr 2022 04:04:00 GMT9

TOKYO: Japan is planning to introduce flying cars to transport people for the 2025 World Exposition in the western city of Osaka.

The vehicles will carry visitors between the artificial island of Yumeshima, which will host the Osaka Expo, and nearby locations such as Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture and Kobe Airport in the neighboring prefecture of Hyogo.

The plan is aimed at offering beautiful views of the Kansai metropolitan area including Osaka and the Seto Inland Sea off western Japan to many people, as well as spurring the spread of flying cars across the country.

While there is no clear definition of what a flying car is, it refers to a vehicle that is halfway between a drone and a helicopter. It is capable of taking off and landing vertically and is electrically powered.

Developers mainly in Japan, the United States and European countries are creating vehicles that can seat around two to five people.

Pilots are expected to control the flying cars at least in the initial stages of its introduction. Fares are likely to be lower than those of helicopters.

The Japanese government established a public-private council for the popularization of flying cars in 2018, which is mulling safety standards for vehicles and skill certifications for pilots.

ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines have expressed interest in operating flying cars for the Osaka Expo.

In addition to shuttling visitors between Yumeshima and airports, there are also proposals for linking the Expo venue to Osaka’s city center and coastal areas, as well as for running pleasure flights.

A special port for flying cars is expected to be set up to the west of the Expo venue on Yumeshima, capable of handling around 20 takeoffs and landings per hour.

Flying cars will also be displayed in the venue, giving many visitors an opportunity to become familiar with such vehicles and providing momentum for nationwide popularization after the event.

“We hope to utilize (flying cars) for a wide variety of purposes, such as to transport patients to hospitals and carry goods to outlying islands and mountainous areas, in addition to tourism purposes,” a senior industry ministry official said.

JIJI Press

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