This Southeast Asian State to Unveil Its First Flying Car Prototype This Year
Malaysia is expected to unveil its first flying car prototype to the public this year.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the prototype - fully driven by local technology - is already available, Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) reported.
“This year is a realistic target because we have the technology already. It is all about speed of implementation,” he added.
Redzuan said the car would be safe and capable of flying at low altitudes at a reasonable speed.
“The prototype would cost slightly over RM1 million to build,” he told reporters here Tuesday (Feb 26, 2019).
Mohd Redzuan said through the flying car project, the government wanted to create an environment that stimulates people to think about new technologies.
“We are providing the catalyst and ecosystem to stimulate the people to think beyond what we are capable of doing today,” he added.
According to Mohd Redzuan, the project will also utilise the country’s capabilities in the aerospace, drone, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and automotive sectors.
“Malaysia has the skill set to excel in all these fields. We need to make full use of it, because the bottom line is we want to be a producing nation,” he said, adding that the project was separate from the third national car project envisioned by the Prime Minister.
Previously, it was reported that Proton's partner, the Chinese multinational automotive manufacturing company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) is hiring English-speaking engineers to produce flying cars in China, reports New Straits Times.
A Geely representative was quoted by English daily newspaper, China Daily, as saying that the engineers will help introduce and test prototypes from Terrafugia Inc.
Terrafugia, a US-based flying car maker founded in 2006 by five award-winning Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, was acquired by Geely in November 2017.
Geely is also reported to be seeking contractors to renovate workshops in a passenger car production facility in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, which is also the birth place of Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu.
Geely expects to finish the development of Terrafugia's first model, TF-1, by July 2019 with the launching to be held in the United States.
The model's technical specifics, however, remain unknown.
It is not known if such cars will hit the Southeast Asian markets following its deal with the nation's automotive conglomerate DRB-Hicom.
Geely, which is Sweden's Volvo Cars parent company, took a 49 per cent stake in Proton in 2017, as well as a controlling interest in the British sports car marque Lotus.
It recently acquired close to 10 per cent of Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler for about US$9 billion (RM35.27 billion), becoming its biggest shareholder in growing signs of the global foray of the Chinese auto group.
Source : Bernama | New Straits Times
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