Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp has demonstrated its new flying car.

The large drone-like machine rose to a height of 3 metres and hovered steadily for about a minute, the latest demonstration of a technology long considered a sci-fi dream.

The Japanese government wants to revolutionise human transport in coming decades, and has put up funds for a range of companies to develop flying cars.

The government has even built a huge test course for flying cars in an area devastated by the 2011 tsunami, quake and nuclear disasters in Fukushima in northeastern Japan.

Proponents envision a future in which commuters zip around in collectively-owned flying cars, like an AI Uber in the sky.

Several of Japan’s local prefectures consist of many small islands, which are easily served by small, flying vehicles.

NEC’s EVtol, or “electric vertical takeoff and landing” project, seeks to create a seamless transition from driving to flight, with a vehicle that has three wheels for use on the ground and four rotors for flight.