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Japanese Firm Aims to Sell Flying Motorbikes by 2022, Aimed at Asia, Africa

A journalist rides a drone flying car controlled by its inventor Kyxz Mendiola during its launch in the province of Batangas, Philippines. (Image for representation only: Reuters)

A journalist rides a drone flying car controlled by its inventor Kyxz Mendiola during its launch in the province of Batangas, Philippines. (Image for representation only: Reuters)

A.L.I. Technologies hope to sell a "hoverbike", in emerging economies in Africa, the Middle East and Asia with poor road infrastructure.

A Japanese company is aiming to release a mass-market flying motorcycle by 2022, its CEO has announced. Tokyo-based venture company A.L.I. Technologies Inc., which mainly develops small drones, hopes to sell the product, called a "hover bike", in emerging economies in Africa, the Middle East and Asia with poor road infrastructure, The Japan Times reported.

"We'll create a (flying) bike first, in order to get flying cars widely used in society eventually," CEO Shuhei Komatsu said.

"Our hoverbike is an ensemble of drone technologies," he said, expressing confidence that his company can commercialise the flying motorcycle.

The envisioned vehicle will use propeller power to hover dozens of centimetres above the ground. It will stay at the desired altitude through technologies that use sensors to avoid obstacles.

A.L.I. Technologies is developing a special limited version for sale around late next year. Reservations will be accepted in May at the earliest.

As for the mass-market model, Komatsu said: "We want to deliver it to customers from around 2022." He said the price will roughly match those of mini-vehicles.