Smart Mobility: A Japanese Startup Aims High For The Sky

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Yiyao Yang
Yiyao Yang
A storyteller aiming to catalyze positive changes and fan the flame of curiosity in humanitarian affairs through nonfiction writing, art, and interdisciplinary means

TOKYO, JAPAN. Smart mobility takes flight. The executives in Manhattan take the speedy and fancy way of helicopters to commute. Now their counterparts in Tokyo will have the more advanced alternative – flying cars to move in the year 2023.

The movie scene that people drive flying cars from home and after 10 minutes they are in their offices attending meetings will soon happen in real life.

A Big Step in Smart Mobility Industry

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The company called Skydrive Inc. announced that its first manned test flight was completed in August at the press conference on August 28.

In the video presented, the pilot operated the white plane-like flying car of 4,000 mm long, 4,000 mm wide, and 2,000 mm high to lift off and cruise at an altitude of around 6 feet. 

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Different from the helicopter, you are the pilot for your flying car, and the flying and parking areas are probably next to the office buildings.

The company said that it targets the elite people, like CEOs and business persons first.

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With a speed of 40 to 50 km/h, it can now fly up to 10 minutes while Skydrive is trying to improve the maximax flying time, and it plans to achieve automatic drive in 2030.

Mr. Toshimitsu Fujiki from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Mr. Koichi Wada participated in the panel session.

They both showed a positive attitude towards the development of flying cars.

Meanwhile, “safety is our ultimate concern and we will try our best to provide safe products,” they said. 

The star product displayed.

Besides business purposes, the flying car can take a part in medical emergencies and tourism. Another product of the company is called Cargo Drone.

As the aging nation, Japan needs drones to move crops, manufacturing materials, and materials in natural disasters to replace manpower. 

The lack of women leadership

While taking a close look at the star company’s culture and working style, we know that behind the newsworthy products, there are 40 to 50 employees working around the clock.

Some employees who already retired from the company said, “there is no work-life balance at all. You have to check the messages from the company even on weekends.”  

This startup has 12 major shareholders, including ENEOS Innovation Partners, Develop Bank of Japan, and Nippon Electric Company.

All the leadership from the shareholders and sponsors that stepped onto the stage are male.

According to Teikoku Data Bank’s reseach in 2018, there is less 10 females holding the manaing position out of 100 people in Japan. 

All leaders are male.

The male leaders talking briliantly about the future of smart mobility while the female assistants handing over the microphones.

Those who first arrive in Japan and experience the packed trains with both male and female workers might think Japan as a society where women are fully empowered.

However, when seeing through the surface of the packed train, as the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training shows, almost half of the employed females work as administrative staffs or in the service industry while there is only nearly 21% employed males doing the silimar work (2019, average data).

The press conference of Skydrive happened last week in a modern building near Tokyo Station. From the french windows, the plane flied across the sky and disappeared behind the skyscraper.

Like many other companies promoting sustainability and smart mobility in Japan, Skyedrive helps to achieve human’s dreams.

However, the women leaders in such industries are nowhere to be found.

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