Showing posts from August, 2019

A Japanese “flying car” has successfully made its first test flight

Companies around the world are racing to be the first to launch self-flying vehicles. The news:  Japanese electronics giant  NEC  tested a drone-like prototype yesterday inside a cage at one of its facilities in Abiko, Japan. It hovered about 3 meters (10 feet) above the ground for a minute. It didn’t have any passengers on board and was powered by a battery,  Bloomberg  reports. NEC engineers spent about a year developing the model, which weighs about 150 kilograms (331 pounds) and is 3.9 meters (12.7 feet) long. What do we call it?   “Flying car”  is a bit of a misleading name, given that it can’t go from driving on roads to flying. It’s basically a large drone, with four propellers, that can carry people. Japan’s grand ambition:  Japan’s government is hoping to position the country as a leader in the flying car not-quite-as-large-as-a-helicopter drone space. Its “road map” document says it plans to ship goods this way by 2023 and let people ride in the vehicles in its