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Toyota has announced its support for a group of engineers who are developing a flying car.

The Japanese auto maker will give 40 million yen ($355, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city in central Japan.

The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed in principle to back the project.

So far, crowdfunding has paid for development of the so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors.

Measuring 9.5ft by 4.3ft, Skydrive claims to be the world’s smallest flying car.

It has a projected top flight speed of 100km/h (62mph), while traveling up to 10m above the ground.

The team of 30 volunteers developing the Skydrive car hopes its prototype could be used to light the Olympic flame when Tokyo hosts the summer games in 2020.

Flying cars are something of a flavor-of-the-month at present, with companies from the US, Germany, Netherlands, China and Japan looking to turn science fiction into reality.

Microsoft has officially released Windows 8.1 – an update to its Windows 8 operating system – during a keynote speech at its annual developers conference in San Francisco.

The free test version of the update is available to download now and the full version will be released to Windows 8 users later this year.

The lock screen is being turned into a “cloud-powered photo frame” that will shows photos stored on the device and in SkyDrive.

Microsoft has officially released Windows 8.1

Microsoft has officially released Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 also includes a vastly improved “search” function, which allows a user to search for documents, apps, or items on the Internet from a single search bar.

It also allows users to see all their applications immediately in a grid by swiping down or pressing a button on-screen.

There are new personalization options for tiles including colors and fonts.

Users can also customize the start screen much more easily; changing sizes of app icons or controlling which apps appear.

For the first time, it will be possible to open two windows simultaneously in the new-look interface.

Windows 8.1 includes Microsoft’s latest browser, Internet Explorer 11, and lets the user restore the address bar and tabs to the screen view.

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