Lexus Makes a Real ‘Back to the Future’ Hoverboard

By Vince Matthews

Marty McFly used one to shred the streets of Hill Valley in Back to Future II. And soon you may get a chance to pilot a powerful hoverboard, too. Toyota’s Lexus group has created a working hoverboard, called SLIDE.

The prototype, which runs on liquid-nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets, has been seen zipping around Toyota’s corporate headquarters in Japan. The technology is real and apparently part of a larger initiative for the company, which may also include flying cars.

“It’s very confidential information but we’ve been studying the flying car in our most advanced R&D area,” said Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, a managing officer in Toyota’s Technical Administration Group. “‘Flying car’ means the car is just a little bit away from the road, so it doesn’t have any friction or resistance from the road.”

Lexus first talked about the technology at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing Summit in Sausalito, Calif. in 2014. Its parent company, Toyota, has been working on innovations in the transportation space for some time. (It’s no big secret that Toyota has been working on fuel cells and self-driving cars.)

The SLIDE hoverboard sports a futuristic look. No release date or price for the board has been announced.

“It’s just a matter of figuring out how.”

— Haruhiko Tanahashi, Chief Engineer, Lexus

There’s an impressive amount of science and engineering going into futuristic technology. Lexus will start testing the SLIDE hoverboard prototype in Barcelona this summer. Lexus is expected to make another announcement on Oct. 21, 2015. If the date sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same day Marty and Doc traveled “back to the future.”

The SLIDE’s wood deck sports the Lexus logo and what looks like a carbon-fiber undercarriage. (Image: Toyota/Lexus)

Living in the Future
The “Back to the Future” movie franchise gave us some pretty amazing views of the future. 3D movie billboards, hoverboards, flying cars and even time travel were inventions that didn’t seem that far-fetched in the 1980s.

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) uses a Mattel hoverboard to cut through the center of Hill Valley in Back to the Future II. (Image: Universal Pictures)

Today, those inventions are even closer to reality. Make no mistake about it: We’re living in the future. From virtual reality to robots (and hoverboards), the future is here.

Start creating the future at Digital Media Academy. Learn how to build an arduino robot from a tech expert or how to create the computer program that commands it.

Digital Media Academy’s science & engineering camps offer hands-on, one-on-one instruction that guides students every step of the way. And since all camps are project-based, it’s just a matter of time until a DMA camper creates a robot that’s outfitted with a jet pack!