Tokyo-based drone startup A.L.I. Technologies is hoping to attract supercar enthusiasts with the fully-functioning hoverbike it officially launched on Tuesday.
Ready for take-off: The “XTurismo Limited Edition” hoverbike, which is built with a motorcycle-like body atop drone propellers, is currently on sale for 77.7 million yen (around $680,000) per unit, reported Reuters.
- Powered by a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors, the machine can reportedly stay airborne for 40 minutes and fly up to 100 kph (62 mph).
- When set in a stationary position, the hoverbike rests on landing skids.
- In a short demonstration, the bike is shown lifting off the ground a few meters at Fuji Speedway, a race track near Mount Fuji.
- A.L.I. Chief Executive Daisuke Katano said they are hoping to offer a new method of movement with XTurismo.
Flying over roadblocks: A.L.I. Technologies, which counts engine-maker Kawasaki Heavy among its suppliers, has backing from soccer player Keisuke Honda and electronics giants Mitsubishi Electric and Kyocera.
- As Japan’s current regulations would prevent the bike from flying over local roads, the company admits its uses will be limited to tracks and similar sites in the meantime.
- Katano highlighted the bike’s potential use in accessing locations that are difficult to reach during rescue operations.
- The company is hoping the bike’s potential applications will expand soon after changes in the country’s strict regulations are implemented.
Similar technologies have been in development in other parts of the world over the years. As NextShark previously reported, an amateur engineer from the Philippines built his own flying car in his backyard in 2018, while a Chinese drone-maker developed self-driving flying taxis in 2017.