It looks like Malaysians won’t have long to wait to see what the country’s first ‘flying car‘ is all about. The vehicle should be revealed before the year is out, and work on the project is said to be 85% complete, according to entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.

He revealed that the prototype of the vehicle is currently being built by a Malaysian company in Japan, and he would be heading there next month to view the progress of the construction. “I am going to Japan in September for the Aviation Conference and I hope to get to see the almost complete (flying) car that we will be going to bring back towards the end of the year,” he said.

Last month, it was reported that the prototype will be ready by as early as October. Asked by reporters if the nation’s first flying car would be launched by year-end, Mohd Redzuan said that it would depend on Malaysia’s ecosystem for flying cars, especially in term of availability to fly at that time, Bernama reports.

He added that while Japan has a supporting ecosystem for the flying car industry, development of flying vehicles for Malaysia will have to take place locally. “The flying car is a private initiative. We don’t control them (investors) on what they want to do, but we need to create the (flying car) industry in Malaysia,” he said.

He said the ministry is currently in discussions with various ministries involved in the aviation sector to create available space for flying cars in Malaysia, similar to efforts undertaken in several other countries. This, he said, will complement skills of local entrepreneurs to develop flying cars.

Earlier this month, Mohd Redzuan said that Cyberjaya could be a potential testbed location for new inventions, which will include flying cars. The location, he said, will provide the necessary space for any field tests and evaluation.

It is expected that the flying vehicle prototype will be the Vector, a drone-based, point-to-point air mobility solution being developed by Malaysian company Aerodyne Group in collaboration with a Japanese partner.

The Vector will reportedly be powered by four motors and a lithium-ion battery. Weighing in at 600 kg, and with a payload capacity of up to 200 kg, the vehicle is capable of flying about 50 metres above ground level at 60 km/h, and will offer from 30 up to 90 minutes of flight time.