The flying auto startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page has unveiled an air taxi, collaborating with the New Zealand government to get it off the ground. The progress made by Kitty Hawk, according to the Prime Minister, should serve as a signal that New Zealand is ready to accept great ideas in the tech sphere, even when more developed nations like the United States may still not be equipped to adopt such innovations from a regulatory standpoint.
This time around, though, Kitty Hawk's ambitions are bigger.
Known as Cora, the aircraft uses a multi-rotor system to take off and land vertically without the need for a runway. The cabin will seat two passengers. Small and effective, the Cora features a range of around 62 miles on a single charge.
Kitty Hawk, which has so far only demonstrated its piloted recreational hovercraft (a luxury item created to help it spur development of its autonomous air taxis) has been testing its autonomous electric passenger aircraft, which resembles a small plane with variable rotors that can go from a vertical alignment for take-off and landing, to a horizontal one for flying like an ordinary plane through the skies.
As far as flying taxis go, this one's pretty easy on the eyes.
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The New York Times pointed out almost every prediction about how fast air taxis would take to the skies has been wrong - it remains to be seen if Kitty Hawk will be able to deliver. "We are excited to work with the people of New Zealand to work on this exciting new technology".
Zee.Aero, by the way, had been testing flying cars in California in the past couple of years.
Hell, even Porsche is down with the idea of a flying vehicle. It looked less like a vehicle than a jet ski with wings.