Tokyo-based eVTOL and cargo drone developer, Skydrive, has launched a pre-order campaign for its latest product, the SD-05. Marketed as a "flying car," the SD-05 is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle designed for urban mobility. It is a two-seater with electronic pilot-assist features and a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h). While the current model requires a pilot's license to operate, Skydrive's long-term vision includes autonomous operation as a significant technological advancement.
The SD-05 has garnered significant interest since its design unveiling in September 2022, receiving inquiries from both companies and individuals. Skydrive aims to create a future where eVTOLs are accessible to everyone for daily transportation, and they recognize the importance of offering options for individual ownership of aircraft. The company intends to develop fully automated aircraft in the future to contribute to a society where the sky is utilized for daily transportation.
The first pre-order for the SD-05 was placed by venture capitalist Kotaro Chiba, an early investor through DRONE FUND. Skydrive has been successful in fundraising, securing over $66 million USD in seed funding during a Series C round last year, indicating the commercial appeal of their product. In an expansion move, the company has also established a new North American division based in South Carolina, with a focus on marketing their designs in the mobility sector within the United States.
Although pre-orders have begun, the SD-05 is not yet available for immediate use. Skydrive aims to complete the product and prepare it for full release by the 2025 Kansai Expo. They also plan to initiate air taxi services in and around Osaka, building on a collaboration agreement signed with the city in 2021 to bring the concept of flying cars into reality.