Larry Page's Air Taxi Takes Flight

Larry Page's Air Taxi Takes Flight

Like Kitty Hawk's Cora, many rely on drone technology and vertical takeoff and landing, so they don't need a runway.

Details: Cora uses 12 rotors to take off like a helicopter and then fly like an airplane.

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

The first self-piloted hover of Kitty Hawk's flying taxi prototype took place at the end of 2011, but it didn't graduate to vertical take-off and forward flight until February 2014.

Kitty Hawk, the flying auto startup financially backed by Google cofounder Larry Page, has been quietly testing flying taxis in New Zealand.

The prototype Cora is all-electric, can carry two passengers, and flies between 500 and 3,000 feet above the ground.

Early specifications show that the fully-autonomous aircraft is capable of reaching a top speed of 110mph and have a flight range of approximately 62 miles.

A California-based company unveiled an autonomous air taxi on Tuesday in Christchurch, with an eye on revolutionising personal air travel within the next decade. We first saw the news via The New York Times.

The flying vehicle company led by Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun and backed by Google co-founder Larry Page is breaking cover with a new deal that will see it test its autonomous electric air taxis with the New Zealand government, with the aim of having a commercial network ready to carry passengers within as little as three years, the New York Times reports.

New Zealand is focused on becoming "net carbon zero" by the year 2050, which is why prime minister Jacinda Ardern embraced the emissions-free transportation project.

Flight tests soon followed under an experimental airworthiness certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

Kitty Hawk is led by Sebastian Thrun, a former Google scientist who worked on the company's self-driving cars and Google Glass.

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