The Japanese company, Honda, is increasing its spending on research and development in 3 future areas: rockets, robotics, and eVTOL, otherwise known as flying cars.
The automaker will spend $45 billion (5 trillion yen) on research and development over the next six years, but Honda won’t say what part of that money will be spent on developing rockets, robots and flying cars, not even if it plans to pursue these projects as commercial companies.
Honda considers robots, rockets, and eVTOL planes an extension of its core auto manufacturing business, especially if the company can get a better platform for an electric car than it, for example, is it worth investing in. Basically, he wants to see if he can make prototypes before taking the next step. .
“The core technologies in these areas are relevant to our current business, and we are pursuing these new areas as an expansion of our core business as a mobility company,” Markus Frommer, Honda’s head of corporate communications, said in a briefing with reporters.
Honda says it is looking into eVTOL aircraft that can be used as part of an urban taxi service, but unlike most startups making lightweight, multi-purpose vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries, Honda adds that it will seek a hybrid solution as a way to achieve the scale that Customers want it, according to Fromer.
Honda said, however, that battery-powered electric aircraft would only be able to achieve a maximum range of several tens of kilometers,” he said, and by using gas turbines to supplement an electric motor, Honda said it would be able to achieve a range of up to 250 miles, allowing more of commercially viable flights, such as between Boston and New York City.