Google co-founder's Kitty Hawk unveils is electric autonomous flying taxi

Google co-founder's Kitty Hawk unveils is electric autonomous flying taxi

They've found a collaborator in New Zealand; prime minister Jacinda Ardern told The New York Times, "We've got an ambitious target in New Zealand of being net carbon zero by 2050...exciting projects like this are part of how we make that happen".

A flying auto startup backed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, has stolen a march on Uber by testing autonomous "air taxis" that could be carrying passengers by 2021.

It has a range of 100 kilometres (62 miles) and can fly at 150 kmh at an altitude of up to 900 metres (3,000 feet). Just as importantly, it's quiet during flight. The cabin will seat two passengers.

Vertical take-off and landing: Cora is powered by 12 independent lift fans, which enable her to take off and land vertically like a helicopter.

"Cora rises like a helicopter and flies like a plane, eliminating the need for a runway and creating the possibility of taking off from places like rooftops", a fact sheet by the startup reads.

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Fixed wing flight: On a single propeller.

Speed: About 110 miles per hour / about 180 kilometres per hour. 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.

"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".

The report says Kitty Hawk is already working on a taxi-hailing app, and plans to run the entire operation itself.

Now, it would seem that Cora and the company behind it are nearly ready for prime time, as Kitty Hawk and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that an agreement has been reached that will see Kitty Hawk's portfolio officially tested for certification.

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