Friday, 14 December 2018
Latest news
Main » Google cofounder's flying taxi takes to the skies in New Zealand

Google cofounder's flying taxi takes to the skies in New Zealand

13 March 2018

"Zephyr Airworks came here because of the ease of doing business in New Zealand, our safety-focused regulatory environment, our culture of ingenuity and our vision for clean technologies and future transport alternatives".

Known as Cora, the aircraft uses a multi-rotor system to take off and land vertically without the need for a runway.

Kitty Hawk, the same group of California dreamers who introduced the leisure-focused Flyer previous year, has revealed an all-electric, self-piloted air taxi in New Zealand.

Kitty Hawk could beat Uber in building a network of electric self-flying taxis.

In April a year ago, Google co-founder Larry Page publicly announced he was building an electric, flying vehicle through a company called Kitty Hawk. The company led by Sebastian Thrun and backed by Google co-founder Larry Page returns today with a look at their new design.

Mr Johns says it is fitting that this part of the world hosts the trials of the electric self-piloting air taxi. We first saw the news via The New York Times.

Kitty Hawk says that Cora can fly up to 3,000 ft (915 m), has a range that's reckoned to be about 62 miles (100 km) per charge, which will make it good for short hops, and it's reported capable of getting up to 110 mph (180 km/h).

The company has secretly been testing their "flying cars" since October 2017 in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island.

Kitty Hawk is based in California, and a company called Zephyr Airworks is their operator in New Zealand. Mr Page brought in Google-X founder and self-driving auto expert Sebastian Thrun to act as CEO of Kitty Hawk and former Virgin America and Delta CEO Fred Reid to head up Zephyr.

"Cora is the beginning of a journey towards everyday flight, where air travel will be woven into our daily lives", the creators said in a statement.

I've spoken to Thrun about the potential of flying "cars" in the past, and the former Google self-driving auto project pioneer is extremely bullish on the idea.

Google cofounder's flying taxi takes to the skies in New Zealand