Autocar notebook: Audi's microplastics mission

99 flying car

Here’s what our reporters have found out in the past week, including Suzuki’s interest in flying EVs

This week, our notebook is filled with tales of incredible flying cars and the slightly less glamorous (but even more important) task of cleaning up microplastics.

The sky’s the limit

The old dream of flying cars might still come true, after Suzuki announced a tie-up with Skydrive, described as “a leading manufacturer of flying cars in Japan”.

They’re collaborating on a compact two-seat flying electric car, with plans for full production. An air taxi service is even planned to start in 2025 in Japan. Mind you, the term ‘car’ is used pretty loosely here. Skydrive’s creations so far would be best classed as small aircraft, with legs rather than wheels and propellers on each side.

Suzuki said it wants to “develop products of superior value by focusing on the customer” and add a fourth mobility branch to its offering of automobiles, motorcycles and marine outboard motors.

Cleaning the streets

As well as pioneering EV development, Audi is trying to prevent harmful materials entering our ecosystems and “filter out microplastics where they’re created”.

In collaboration with the University of Berlin, the car maker is developing filters for streets, drains and sewers to stop tyre and road particles from entering soil, rivers and the ocean. It says around 110,000 metric tonnes of the stuff ends up on the streets of Germany alone each year.

“Our goal is to take preventative actions wherever possible,” said environmental foundation director Rüdiger Recknagel. The filters also capture cleaning waste, cigarette filters, wrappers and other plastic granules measuring up to 3mm in size.

Source: Autocar

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