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A Toyota-Backed Company Just Test Drove a Flying Car SkyDrive takes its manned SD-03 vehicle for a little spin around the clouds.

By Jonathan Small

Futurama just got a little closer to being the future.

A startup called SkyDrive released a video of a pilot flying a car over the Toyota Test Field in Toyota, Japan. Toyota finances the company, and the project has been years in the making. The ultimate goal: Create a flying taxi by 2023.

Kind of gives new meaning to the concept of Lyft.

"Of the world's more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeeded with a person on board," company CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa told The Associated Press. "I hope many people will want to ride it and feel safe."

Related: Toyota Invests $349 Million in Flying Taxi Startup

Traffic buster

The single-seat car is powered by a battery and four pairs of propellers. In the video, it lifts to six feet above the ground and hovers for roughly five minutes. Can't a drone do that? Maybe, but a human pilot manned this car, which makes this test flight particularly significant—and impressive.

To date, the SD-03 can fly for only five to ten minutes at a low speed. But the next phase is to pump it up to 40 mph at a flight duration of 30 minutes.

The car is 13-feet long and six-feet high, enabling it to fit into two average parking spaces in a congested city.

"In developed countries, flying cars are expected to be used as a means of transportation to ease traffic jams and respond in times of disaster, while in developing countries they are likely to be used as a form of transportation that requires far less infrastructure," the company said in a press release.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

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