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Toyota Flying Car Patent Details: Japanese automotive manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corporation, has applied for a patent for what is a "dual-mode vehicle with wheel rotors". Essentially a flying car concept, the new patent hints to an impending innovation in the field of mobility. Here are some details of the Toyota flying car!
Not much is known about the ‘Toyota flying car' but the patent image reveals that the upcoming product is more like a giant drone. Toyota is not the first manufacturer to come up with flying car projects. In fact, Japan aims to revolutionise the concept of flying cars in the near future (even Uber, Boeing and Subaru are involved).
Unlike the usual fixed-wing or quadcopter design layout, Toyota's innovation is seemingly a vehicle with wheels as part of members attached to a central pivot. But the most basic working principle is that the rotors used to lift up the vehicle from the ground will be employed as its wheels, when on the ground (refer the pictures for a better understanding).
When it is in the air, the vehicle kind of resembles a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey — a tilt-rotor military aircraft in the American military's fleet. The Osprey is capable of being a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) or can use a runway to take-off.
"After raising the wheel arms and wheels above the ground surface, the method includes rotating the wheel arms about the central pivot to position the wheels for use as rotors in the flight mode. In the flight mode, the method includes rotating the wheels in order to extract rotor blades positioned within the wheels to extend beyond the wheels", the patent states.
Simply put, on a touch of a button, the concept's arms will lift all four wheels, spin it and use the momentum of the rotors (alloys, while on the road) to soar into the skies. The powertrain consists of a gas turbine generator, hydrogen fuel cell and a large battery pack.
As mentioned before, very few details are known about the Toyota flying car concept. For the same reason, we can't suggest a possible timeframe at which it will make it into production. However, it is good to see that manufacturers are trying new possibilities in transportation.
Thoughts On The Toyota Flying Car Concept
The future of mobility seems to have electric vehicles and flying cars on a major scale; the former being more obvious. A lot of patents related to flying cars have been filed for application over the years. Though some have made it into production, they've never had the technical or infrastructural support to be mass-produced. However, a Toyota flying car could be the first mass-produced example to hit global markets.