Medicine

Larry Page-backed flying taxi start-up could beat Uber to the punch

Larry Page-backed flying taxi start-up could beat Uber to the punch

Kitty Hawk shipped its first air taxi to New Zealand back in October 2017, and initial tests of the device began shortly thereafter. The 36-foot aircraft is called Cora and has 12 battery-powered rotors, with the ability to carry two passengers some 62 miles.

Cora is completely self piloting and can reach speeds of 150 km/h and has a range of 100 kilometres. The company is negotiating with New Zealand over regulatory approval for a flying-taxi service. The fact sheet mentions that Cora has an experimental permit with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and New Zealand regulators, but only that the company is looking forward to sharing Cora with the New Zealand public.

Page's company is also developing a prototype personal aircraft called the Kitty Hawk Flyer and unveiled an early model in the United States previous year.

Kitty Hawk says they're not sure when Cora will be available to escort you to the nearest shindig. This allows it to take off vertically like a helicopter and then fly horizontally like a plane. Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, Airbus made an investment in Blade, and Uber is already working on the same idea with Uber Elevate. Airbus has also made an investment two weeks ago in Blade, which is an aviation start-up in NY. That means that the rules it develops may become a template for other nations, including the United States. Dubai formed a partnership with a Chinese company, EHang. There has been some speculation about the origin of Zephyr because it lists its chief executive as Fred Reid, who had also been listed as president of Zee Aero. However, the advent of air taxis-especially with autonomous capabilities-could fundamentally change the way the world sees commuting and business travel forever.

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It is expected that a commercial network of flying taxis will be in operation in New Zealand in as soon as three years.

Anyone hoping to pick up their own autonomous flying taxi for personal use in the next few years will be disappointed.

"The dreamers from California met the visionaries from New Zealand", Kitty Hawk said in a press release that lauds New Zealand for having "a government and society with an eye to the horizon".


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