By Jie Ma and Nao Sano
The only person in a kimono at a recent Japanese government meeting on flying cars was Kotaro Chiba, a former online-game executive turned financier of a very specific kind.
For Chiba, 44, who wears the kimono on special occasions to show his pride in Japanese culture, is gathering money for what he calls the Drone Fund. It invests in unmanned vehicles to survey buildings, make deliveries and take aerial photos for tourist boards; hover scooters; and a pilotless cargo craft that’s seeking to make it all the way from Japan to Silicon Valley in one go.
Chiba is at the forefront of an industry that’s only years away from changing our lives. In five to 10 years, the skies could be alive with drones delivering goods, according to McKinsey & Co. Ten to 15 years out, you could be heading to work in a flying taxi, the consultancy says.
“It’s like a gold rush in the air,” Chiba said in an interview from his office in central Tokyo. And “the first movers will reap the best results.”
Read More: Bloomberg