Malaysia’s flying vehicle prototype (or “flying car”), which was originally slated to be revealed this month, is expected to be launched at the end of the year instead. This is according to entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, in response to a question from Khairy Jamaluddin about the project in Parliament on Thursday (October 17, 2019).

During Minister Question Time, Khairy asked, “Vision 2020 was introduced when I was 15 years old. We imagined there would be flying cars by then. I would like to congratulate the minister for being the only one to keep the promise of Vision 2020. I want to know, is there a date when we can see the minister riding the flying car?”

Redzuan said the project was led by the private sector and sponsored by local companies. “The government will not bear the losses if the project does not work according to plan,” he told Parliament, as reported by NST

He added that Cyberjaya has been chosen as the testbed to develop the air mobility industry, which had the potential to push the development in other areas like new types of insurance, financial tech, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.

Responding to a separate query from Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Redzuan said the flying vehicle would be able to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang within an hour, which is far quicker than the four hours it would take to travel by road, adding that the prototype vehicle would be able to accommodate two or three passengers.

Earlier in March, a scale model of a flying vehicle prototype was put on display at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2019 (LIMA 19) exhibition. Called the Vector, it’s essentially less of a “flying car,” and more of a drone-based, point-to-point air mobility solution.

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

Redzuan also told reporters that a second “flying car” is in the works, with Bernama reporting that it would use different technologies from the first one, and could perform its inaugural flight in the third quarter of 2020.

“The second version is using new technology and 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,” said Redzuan, who added that the vehicle is currently being developed in Europe.