Japan’s NEC Corp has edged closer to the development of passenger drones after a demo of its people-carrying quadcopter managed to stay in the air for one minute.
The company’s battered powered drone rose to a height of about 10 feet for around 60 seconds during the trial inside a safety cage at a test facility in Abiko in Tokyo.
The NEC drone weighs about 150 kilograms and is around 3.9 metres long, 3.7 metres wide and 1.3 metres tall, with still major steps to overcome before it is able to carry passenger weight.
Under Japan’s infrastructure plan, deliveries made by such drones are scheduled to start by 2023.
The government hopes to allow people to travel in the machines in the following decade. Venture capitalists in Japan meanwhile are investing in autonomous aircraft companies through their Drone Fund.