Larry Page aims for air taxis in New Zealand

14 Marcha, 2018, 04:08 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Aircraft

To those on the ground, it has always been unclear whether there was a pilot aboard.

In the video below, you can watch Cora in action. But there was no place in the world where Cora could take the next step.

Zephyr Airworks is working in collaboration with New Zealand's business ministry, its transport ministry, and its Civil Aviation Authority.

Kitty Hawk, the secretive flying-car startup that's funded by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, has finally taken the wraps off its flying taxi, which it calls Cora.

Plus: The firm hopes to use the aircraft as part of a commercial network within three years, and it is building an Uber-style app through which people would be able to hail a flight.

In Cora's branding, Kitty Hawk ditched the phrase "flying car" and replaced it with "air taxi".

Negotiations between Kitty Hawk and the New Zealand government have been going on for about 18 months, with multiple government agencies pledging to "streamline" the process of approval for a flying-taxi trial, according to Stuff.

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And this isn't even addressing how federal and state regulations will deal with certifying the self-flying technology. Last year, New Zealanders started noticing these vehicles flying about the sky, reports CNBC. But aviation regulators in the rest of the world do not see those countries as models. New Zealand, on the other hand, has always been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime.

Trialling the flying taxi service will reportedly take six years, with operations based around the city of Christchurch.

In November 2017, Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences. Airbus made an investment two weeks ago in Blade, an aviation start-up in NY.

On the other hand, Dubai has formed a joint venture with a Chinese company, EHang. And of course Uber has an entire division called Uber Elevate.

We'd have thought New Zealand was selected for its large expanse of open space and rather small population that reduces the likelihood of human death and property damage if the Cora goes rogue and ploughs into one of those Middle-Earth style mountains the country has. Kitty Hawk said it will continue to work with New Zealand's CAA to gain the certifications necessary for a commercial air taxi service.

The Cora aircraft was inspired by the Back to the Future DeLorean and The Jetsons' hovercar and has 12 rotors and a 36ft wingspan.

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