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Development of flying cars progresses

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TOKYO >> Japan’s transport ministry has released an outline of the operational and safety systems for flying cars being developed in the country, covering the establishment of a pilot licensing system and the introduction of black boxes to record flight data.

Flying cars are currently being developed by Japan’s public and private sectors for introduction at the Osaka- Kansai Expo in 2025.

Japan’s government will establish a new pilot’s license for flying cars, equivalent to an automobile license, as well as a license for mechanics who fix the cars.

The cars will be equipped with transmitters that allow them to be regularly tracked, and the design of vertiports — takeoff and landing sites — also are being developed.

The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition has begun accepting applications from private companies interested in operating flying-car services between Kansai Airport and the expo’s venue. Flying cars are one of the highlights of the event.

In October 2021 startup SkyDrive Inc. became the first Japanese company to pursue certification for mass producing the vehicles. But many other companies, both within Japan and across the globe, are interested in building and operating the cars.

ANA Holdings Inc. is working with the U.S. company Joby Aviation Inc. to operate flying cars in Japan, as is Japan Airlines Co., which plans to operate cars developed by German company Volocopter GmbH.

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