Istanbul-based Nişantaşı University, Japan's Nagasaki University and Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science signed a goodwill agreement yesterday to develop Super Object for Road and Air Movement (SORA), a flying, driverless car.
Turkish and Japanese academics will work on the project expected to be wrapped up in 2020. The universities are currently in talks with Japanese companies for the project.
SORA is pioneered by professor Esra Hatipoğlu, president of Nişantaşı University, the dean for the engineering faculty professor İlhami Çolak and Nagasaki University professor Fujio Kurokowa.
In a statement, the Turkish university said the environmentally friendly vehicle with low energy consumption and high efficiency will have a next-generation electric engine. It can be used as a search and rescue vehicle and ambulance and can be programmable to travel to a certain destination, the statement said. Two prototypes with one and two seats will be produced in the initial stage of the project. The universities allocated an initial budget of $5 million for SORA. More companies and public agencies working on civil aviation technology in Turkey are expected to be included in the project.
Amid growing ties, Turkey and Japan had signed an agreement last year for the foundation of a joint university that will be built in or near Istanbul.