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SkyDrive Announces Conclusion of 100th Corporate Sponsorship Agreement

SkyDrive Announces Conclusion of 100th Corporate Sponsorship Agreement

  • 100 Japanese and international corporations have now signed up to support the commercialization of urban air mobility by 2023
  • Company is now ready for a manned flight demonstration for the public in Japan this summer

SkyDrive Inc., a world-leading developer of urban air mobility solutions*, and company founder and joint developer CARTIVATOR Resource Management announce the conclusion of SkyDrive’s 100th corporate sponsorship agreement. Our sponsors are world-renowned companies in a variety of fields and their support ranges from financial assistance to engineering insights and components to the provision of human resources on secondment. We are pleased today to share some comments from our sponsors and some examples of the support they have been providing.

SkyDrive is now ready to stage a demonstration flight in Japan this summer. We completed the technical verification phase in March 2020, following Japan’s first-ever outdoor manned test flights of a flying car, which started in December 2019 and ended safely in March 2020. We are at the stage of developing a market for prototypes for 2023 and working to confirm that we meet the safety and security standards needed to obtain both aircraft and airworthiness certification from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

We are excited to be expanding our sponsorship base and progressing to the next stage of our quest to help drive the establishment and growth of the urban air mobility market around the world. We, SkyDrive, will be working hard to push our project forward so that our urban air mobility solutions can create a new lifestyle with improved convenience a reality in the near future.


SkyDrive President and co-representative of CATIVATOR Tomohiro Fukuzawa’s comments

On occasion, those of us who were pouring our time and energy into CATIVATOR’s flying car project as volunteers realized the limitations of privately funded development activities and wondered if our target of staging a flight demonstration in the summer of 2020 could be met. 

However, the generous support of our sponsors, which has come in the form of financial assistance, engineering expertise and insights, and human resources, has meant everything to us and enabled us to hang on to our dream and keep our project going. You have always listened to us and extended assistance that we desperately needed when we had to have it. It must never be forgotten that your enthusiastic messages of support have really helped to fire up the team in difficult situations and brought us to where we are today. On behalf of the entire team, I would like once again to express my deepest gratitude to all of our sponsors and promise that we will remain fully committed to staging the flight demonstration scheduled for this summer.

Further Information

*Urban air mobility: Flying car is a part of urban air mobility category. Flying car: The Japanese government officially called an “electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL)” aircraft. It is characterized by electrification, automated controls, and vertical takeoff and landing. Development of flying cars is being advanced to fill the role of a new mode of mobility. In Japan, flying cars are anticipated to be used for taxi services in urban areas, as a new mode of transportation on remote islands and mountainous areas, and as a means of emergency transportation in the event of a disaster. As flying cars are inexpensive, quieter, and require compact space for takeoff and landing compared to conventional aircraft, they are expected to make flying a routine form of mobility. The flying car market is expected to grow to 150 trillion yen globally by 2040 (Morgan Stanley research), making it a promising next-generation industry. In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Transportation Revolution has met since 2018 and has established a roadmap for business commencement in 2023 and expanding practical use in 2030 (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). In industrialized countries, flying cars are expected to alleviate congestion and be used in the event of a disaster, and in emerging countries, they are expected to be embraced as a mode of transportation that requires no infrastructure.

Sponsor comments:

NEC Corporation

Koichi Fujii
General Manager
National Security Solutions Division

We were really struck by CARTIVATOR’s mission statement, which said that it wanted to provide the next generation with a dream, in the form of an opportunity to expand the potential of mankind through mobility. We therefore decided to support the team and we have been working with them ever since. We want to build a control and management platform for a new mobility environment in the air transportation domain and we hope to accelerate our efforts toward making safe, secure urban air mobility a reality through enhanced collaboration with CARTIVATOR and SkyDrive.

Support activity:
NEC has exchanged information and knowledge with SkyDrive and CARTIVATOR on flight control and management technologies and provided assistance in verifying and validating flight control systems, utilizing the technical expertise in unmanned aircraft control systems and radio wave monitoring that we have accumulated through our social solutions business. We are also working with SkyDrive to improve social acceptance of urban air mobilities and the realization of a new transportation infrastructure through meetings between the public and private sectors and other activities to support the coming urban air mobility revolution.

Panasonic Corporation

Masahisa Shibata
Senior Managing Executive Officer

We are extremely excited by the steady improvements that SkyDrive has achieved with its series of test flights and by the start of pre order sales of its cargo drone last December. I really hope that the company’s flying car will take off and drive away the gloom caused by the COVID-19 pandemic!

YAZAKI Corporation

Shigeki Mori
Division Manager
Toyota Business Unit
W/H Development & Design Division

We strongly identified with CARTIVATOR’s mission statement of providing the next generation with a dream, an opportunity to expand the potential of humankind through urban air mobility, and we have supported them with our safe, secure, future-oriented technology. We were the first sponsoring company to sign a secondment agreement and send engineers to contribute to the effort to make flying cars and usher in a bright and prosperous future supported by urban air mobility.
Support activity:
YAZAKI has been engaged in the development and production of prototype wire harness components for the urban air mobility.

Joyson Safety Systems Japan K.K. and MIZUNO Corporation
Joyson Safety Systems and MIZUNO Corporation jointly developed a high-performance lightweight seat with a built-in impact-absorption device by applying both companies’ invaluable technologies and know-how. Joyson Safety Systems is a global leader in the automotive safety space with a history of pioneering seatbelts, airbag systems, and child-restraint systems for over a century, while MIZUNO is an international sports equipment manufacturer whose running shoes feature its original Mizuno Wave® plate that delivers both cushioning and stability.

Joyson Safety Systems Japan K.K.

Masayoshi Kumagai
Vice President
Engineering Division

We were honored to join the list of SkyDrive and CARTIVATOR sponsors and be part of this inspired and inspirational project that aims to “create what doesn’t exist now.” No matter where a car moves, whether it be on a road or through the air, protecting human life remains of the utmost importance. As a specialist in automotive safety, we are genuinely grateful for this exciting opportunity to work with CARTIVATOR and SkyDrive, as well as with MIZUNO’s engineers, whose outstanding knowledge and capabilities have inspired us a great deal. We will continue to work hard to build safety for the future urban air mobility society.

MIZUNO Corporation

Yasunori Kaneko
Senior Technical Expert
Global Research & Development Department

Flying cars and sporting goods may not seem connected, but plenty of sports activities, including running, have a “moving people” aspect in common with various forms of transportation, while reducing stress on the human body is another important feature shared by urban air mobility and sports equipment. Meeting and talking with Mr. Matsuhashi, the chief engineer of CARTIVATOR, about such matters at an academic conference opened the way for our involvement in the urban air mobility project. In running shoes, cushioning performance is normally controlled by the physical properties of the sponge midsole. However, with our built-in Mizuno Wave® plate, our running shoes control cushioning performance by finely adjusting wave length and height. By the same token, when we know the required amount of energy absorption and the permissible load, we can determine the wave profile that satisfies those conditions. Using this relationship, we developed the shock-absorbing safety device for the urban mobility’s seat.

Sony PCL Inc.

Mizuki Kurotani
Marketing Sect.
Business Promotion Dept.
Creative Div.

We support the team that has taken on the challenge of turning an imagined future into reality by creating content with our leading-edge “wow!” visual technologies.
Support activity:
Sony PCL produces promotional videos featuring 3D computer graphics and visual effects or VFX technologies. We have created videos such as The Future with SkyDrive’s urban air mobility 2030 with state-of-the-art visual technologies in order to communicate in an intuitive and attractive way the future that will be made possible by urban the air mobility.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co.,Ltd

Associate Director General Manager
Aerospace Department

We were the first company in Japan to be licensed to operate an automobile insurance business with the hope of making people and their cars safer every day since when there were only about 1,000 vehicles on the road in 1914, Japan. More than 100 years later, we have been working for many years on the new market of “urban air mobility” by utilizing our experience and expertise in aviation insurance. Also, we have been challenging ourselves to develop cutting-edge risk research and products. By providing safety and security for future commercialization and for future expansion, there are our pleasure to support both challenges, CARTIVATOR and SkyDrive, for the future of air mobility revolution.

CATIVATOR Resource Management

Tsubasa Nakamura
Co-representative of CATIVATOR

I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been supporting us for the last few years and to welcome those who have only joined us recently as new sponsors. To a team of volunteers like us, your strong and enthusiastic support is an invaluable and indispensable source of energy that helps keep us driving forward. Together, we can move on to make the dream of urban air mobility a reality.