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Japan startup says automobile lovers ought to take a look at this $700K hoverbike

A Japanese startup backed by soccer participant Keisuke Honda hopes to influence rich customers to swap their supercar for a 77.7 million yen ($680,000) hoverbike that went on sale on Tuesday.

The XTurismo Limited Edition from Tokyo-based drone startup A.L.I. Technologies is supplied with a standard engine and 4 battery-powered motors and guarantees to fly for 40 minutes at as much as 100 kph (62 mph).

“Until now the choice has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky. We hope to offer a new method of movement,” Chief Executive Daisuke Katano instructed Reuters.

The black and pink hoverbike consists of a motorcycle-like physique on prime of propellers. The machine rests on touchdown skids when stationary.

The startup, whose backers embody industrial heavyweights Mitsubishi Electric and Kyocera, demonstrated the bike with a brief flight just a few meters off the bottom at a race observe close to Mount Fuji.

Keisuke Honda in a yellow and black and white uniform on the soccer field
Keisuke Honda says the Japanese startup’s hoverbike might be used for emergency first-aid transport.
ANP Sport through Getty Images

Katano mentioned that within the close to time period its makes use of can be restricted to such websites – and won’t be allowed to fly over Japan’s packed roads. But the bike might be utilized by rescue groups to achieve troublesome to entry areas, he mentioned.

Strict laws in Japan pushed by security issues have hobbled the expansion of sectors like ride-sharing. Pending rule modifications might lengthen the bike’s potential purposes, Katano mentioned.

Funding is flowing to startups from California-based Joby Aviation to Israel’s AIR who promise to usher in an period of non-public air transportation from jetpacks to flying taxis.

Commercial success for A.L.I. Technologies, whose suppliers embody engine maker Kawasaki Heavy, would assist reinforce Japan’s industrial edge amid a generational shift in direction of new know-how comparable to autonomous and electrical automobiles.