‘Flying motorbike’ to debut at Tokyo Motor Show

A.L.I. Technologies Inc has developed a motorbike-like floating vehicle. The company plans to exhibit a prototype of the vehicle, “Speeder,” in its booth at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019, which will take place in October.

For weight reduction, CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) is used to form the body of the vehicle. A.L.I. Technologies manufactures the airframe in house and will deliver a limited edition in the second half of 2020 and mass-produced model in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.

The Speeder is defined as a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle that travels several tens of centimeters above the ground. It is equipped with two engines in the front and rear parts, and each of them rotates a propeller to generate a propelling force downward. To move forward and make a turn, two small propellers on the right and left sides are used. The vehicle seems to be approximately 2m in length and 1.5m in width.

Though A.L.I. Technologies has not yet disclosed the output of the engine or the control method used for the vehicle, the vehicle floats up and travels when an accelerator and brake located on the handle are operated like a motorbike.

“Its riding capacity changes depending on body weight,” the company said.

The Speeder is expected to be used for lifesaving at the time of disaster, in deserts and swamps and on the sea. A.L.I. Technologies plans to take advantage of the floating function of the vehicle in situations where wheeled vehicles cannot travel.

A.L.I. Technologies is a venture firm that develops drones equipped with AI (artificial intelligence). It applied the airframe control technologies developed for its drones to the flying motorbike.

“It was difficult to pursue a good design while improving safety and ride comfort and realizing smooth control of the airframe,” the company said.

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