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

Marco Green
March 13, 2018

"We are offering a pollution free, emissions free vehicle that flies independently", Fred Reid, head of Kitty Hawk operations in New Zealand, said in a video posted on the company's website.

Kitty Hawk isn't putting a timeframe around when Cora will be available for public flights.

Cora is capable of traveling at up to 110mph (180km/s) with a range of 62 miles (100km) carrying two passengers. The air taxi looks like a small single-seater plane, but then you notice the wings are covered in a dozen small propellers and there's a surprising lack of noise on take-off. "Cora has the potential to transform spaces like rooftops and parking lots into places to take off right from your neighbourhood".

The aircraft has been developed by Kitty Hawk, which is run by Sebastian Thrun, who previously led the development of Google's self-driving cars as director of Google X. That was always just a stepping stone towards the company's larger goal of building viable self-flying taxis, however.

Kitty Hawk is already working on an app and technology to allow customers to hail flying taxis like an Uber.

"Let's not forget this part of the world is where Richard Pearse first pioneered flying, something we honour with a sculpture within our airport terminal, so it's great to see this bold thinking being revealed here too", he says. Kitty Hawk is working on further certification so it can launch a commercial air taxi service.

Pic: Kitty HawkGoogle cofounder Larry Page's flying taxi project is cleared for take off.

"Cora will combine self-flying software with expert human supervision, so you can enjoy the ride", says the company, which has fitted three independent flight systems, made the rotors operate independently and given Cora a parachute in case things go wrong.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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