India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is now poised to soar into the skies with its latest venture – electric air copters.
As per a Times of India report, these air copters will be bigger than drones but smaller than traditional helicopters, capable of carrying at least three individuals including the pilot.
The report also says the company aims to introduce new mobility solutions, initially in Japan and the US, before expanding to India. These air taxis could potentially transform air transportation much like the on-ground versions of Uber and Ola.
Maruti is not just eyeing the Indian market for sales, but also considering local manufacturing to reduce costs.
Suzuki Motor's assistant manager, Kento Ogura, revealed that discussions with aviation regulator DGCA are underway to turn this vision into reality. The electric air copters, named SkyDrive, are expected to be launched at the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan.
Maruti intends to eventually introduce this technology to India under the 'Make in India' initiative. The company is presently conducting market research in India to identify potential customers and partners. For the air copters to succeed in India, they need to be affordable, emphasized Ogura.
The report also says that the SkyDrive will initially offer a range of 15 kilometers. However, the three-passenger air taxi is expected to double its range by 2029 and further increase to 40 kilometers by 2031 to cater to India's vast geography.