KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia could see its flying car take off by the end of the year, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof on Thursday (Oct 17) in parliament.
The prototype of the air mobility vehicle is being developed and will be launched by year-end, he added.
The minister said there have also been discussions between local entrepreneurs and technology providers about shortening the travelling time between Kuala Lumpur and Penang to an hour by a flying car. The journey that would normally take four hours.
“I am not saying that this will happen, but there are initial discussions to pave the way for this to be realised in the nearest future, in 2020,” he said.
Mr Mohd Redzuan was responding to a question by Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin on the ministry’s preparation for an ecosystem to support the flying car industry.
Mr Khairy told the Lower House that as a 15-year-old, he had imagined flying cars to exist in Malaysia by 2020.
“I would like to congratulate the minister. At least the dream to have flying cars will not be delayed until Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.
“You are the only minister who is able to realise Vision 2020,” he said in jest.
Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 was unveiled by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad early this month as a roadmap for the country’s direction in the next decade, replacing Vision 2020 that he introduced back in 1991 during his 22-year rule.
He had blamed the failure to achieve the Vision 2020 goals on the wrong strategies and policies implemented by the previous government.
In his reply, Mr Mohd Redzuan said the ministry had held engagement sessions with various agencies on Sep 5 to formulate policies, licences and guidelines to ensure the smooth development of air mobility ecosystem.
The World Economic Forum in 2016 had predicted that air mobility would be a key mode of transport by 2030, the minister said.
“PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported that the air mobility industry is expected to be valued at US$127 billion next year," he added.
SECOND FLYING CAR
Speaking to reporters, Mr Mohd Redzuan said a second flying car – using a different technology from the first one – could take to the skies next year.
The car was currently being developed in Europe, he added.
“We are discussing whether or not it’s possible, and if there is interest in the country to have the inaugural flight by the third quarter of next year,” he said.