Still wondering when flying cars might arrive? Well, it might be sooner than we thought.

Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp. recently showed off its prototype flying car to the public. It even made a demonstration flight by hovering the vehicle steadily off the ground for about a minute before setting down again. For safety reasons, the electronics maker flew the machine without a passenger at a height of 3 meters only and was kept inside a gigantic cage at a test facility in Abiko, a Tokyo suburb.

Even though the prototype vehicle is called a “flying car” by NEC, it somewhat resembles more of a large drone with four large propellers. It also uses battery power instead of a conventional internal-combustion engine. The prototype developed by NEC is also a lot wider than most road-going vehicles today measuring in at 3.7 meters wide, 3.9 meters long and 1.3 meters tall. According to NEC, the prototype also has autonomous flight functions.

While the test flight may seem boring and underwhelming, it does represent how far technology has come with regards to flying cars. A few decades back, flying cars were simply a thing of imagination. Today, Japan tested its very first prototype. Sooner or later, production model flying cars may make their debut.

Japan has successfully built and tested a flying car image

It might be hard to imagine the sky filled with these flying cars, but that's how the Japanese government plans to go about with it. According to Bloomberg, the country's technological road map hopes to see flying cars for logistics use by around 2023. Personal transport would then follow in the mid-2020s in rural areas and 2030 for the major cities. Japan also hopes to become a leader in flying cars as the government and private sector will also be working closely together.

There's still a long way to go before we actually go around in flying cars, but at least with prototype already working, we know they will be coming soon.