Limited Edition “Aerial Scooter” Releases in Japan Costing More Than a Rolls-Royce

published: 2021-11-09 9:30 | editor: | category: News

Aerial scooter is not just a dream now. Japanese UAV manufacturer A.L.I. Technologies has released an aerial scooter Xturismo, and 200 units are expected to ship before the first half of 2022. The scooter has a price tag of JPY 77 million (approx. NT$19 million), which is even more pricey than a Rolls-Royce. Preorders are available now.

The Nikkei reports that this aerial scooter measures at 3.7m in length, 2.4m in width, 1.5m in height, and 300kg in weight. It can travel at the maximum speed for 40 minutes, though the company has yet to disclose its fastest speed. The scooter was at 100km/h during demonstration, with roughly 3m above the ground, and carries one passenger (the driver).

Xturismo is primarily powered by an internal combustion engine, and relies on two main propellers for maintaining the levitation mode. A.L.I. has applied the height control application of UAV products on the aerial scooter, which helps with the smoothness in flights. Xturismo is available for preorders on the day it debuted, and 200 units are expected to ship before the first half of 2022.

Investors of A.L.I. include Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Kyocera. A.L.I. CEO Daisuke Katano commented at the press conference, “We wanted to propose a new lifestyle through aerial scooters.” Xturismo may be used in sea rescue missions in the future.

An increasing number of businesses are now targeting the commercial opportunities in flights. US startup Jetpack Aviation (JPA) announced the successful trial flight for its aerial scooter Speeder in mid-October, which is scheduled for release in 2023 at a preorder price of US$380K (approx. NT$10.59 million). French startup Lazareth is also currently developing aerial scooters.

A growing number of investment, aside from startups, is also pouring into aerial scooters. Toyota invested JPY 43 billion in US-based Jobby Aviation during January 2020, while aerial vehicle startup HT Aero supported by Chinese EV company XPeng Motors has obtained more than US$500 million of funds from the latest round of financing, and Honda has also revealed its development plans for aerial vehicles that will serve as a part of the company’s JPY 5 trillion R&D program for the next six years.

 (Cover photo source: Xturismo)

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