Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has decided to roll out a flying car having wheels that can pass as rotatory wings like that of a helicopter. The company has filed a patent application in this regard.
As the buzz goes, Toyota’s take on the concept is an unconventional idea, even by flying car standards. The car will fly after its wheels turn into spring-loaded, pop-out helicopter rotors.
The company has filed the petition for a “dual mode vehicle, wheels for the vehicle and a method of transitioning the vehicle from a land mode to a flight mode.”
Imagine being stuck in a mammoth of a traffic jam that can make you tear your hair out. With this copter car, you can now switch from your current orthodox mode of commute and take it to the skies by triggering its flying mode. The moment you do that, the wheels will sprout rotor blades, spinning just like those typical helicopter rotors. These rotors provide an upward lift to the vehicle, enabling it to fly.
The patent describes the copter car as having wheels attached to spaced arms that extend to a central pivot. It further maintains that the wheel-cum-rotors shall be powered by an electric motor connected to a power system.
However, it is not clear what this power system would be. It can be a hydrogen fuel cell, gas turbine generator, battery pack, or “any other energy conversion device capable of generating sufficient electric power to drive the wheels of the dual mode vehicle.”
The patent also states that the vehicle, when switched to on-land mode, can steer as a vehicle on tracks like bulldozers, tanks, excavators, by “changing the speed of the wheels on one side of the dual mode vehicle,” to facilitate the turning.
Nevertheless, the vehicle’s efficiency or effectiveness when driving in the routine city traffic is debatable. Also, it is just a patent application at this point in time. Whether the company succeeds in gathering the resources and technologies to create this vehicle is uncertain for now.
It is worth mentioning here that many other companies such as Uber, Terrafugia, and Aston Martin are working on their own concept of flying cars. Therefore, Toyota’s foray into this sector isn’t all that surprising.