Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Watch Larry Page's self-flying air taxi lift-off

Watch Larry Page's self-flying air taxi lift-off

"You wouldn't have to know anything about flying a plane".

Kitty Hawk has signed an agreement with the New Zealand government to test its "Cora" autonomous flying taxis. Page's involvement with a California entity called Zee Airworks on similar grounds has been a bit less of a secret, though Zee Airworks has yet to lay anything out publicly in the same manner that Kitty Hawk has.

Certifying the vehicle with a regulatory body will be a major undertaking, but if Kitty Hawk and Page succeed, New Zealand could lay out the blueprint for aviation regulators worldwide.

Kitty Hawk, the flying-car startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, just unveiled its first vehicle, named Cora, and revealed where it might start flying first.

For years, rumors have swirled about Kitty Hawk, a flying auto startup that has been lavishly funded by Google co-founder Larry Page.

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Cora is completely self piloting and can reach speeds of 150 km/h and has a range of 100 kilometres.

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

Imagine starting a network of autonomous air taxis, as Uber is planning to, but long before Uber actually does.

The US Federal Aviation Administration now lacks a certification basis to accept the airworthiness of such vehicles to transport fare-paying passengers. There is also the capability for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) which looks like it can open transportation options ranging from commuter services to drone deliveries. Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, Airbus made an investment in Blade, and Uber is already working on the same idea with Uber Elevate. But those countries have never been seen as models for aviation regulators in the rest of the developed world. "New Zealand has always been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime", the Times reports. That means that the rules it develops may become a template for other nations, including the United States.

Anyone hoping to pick up their own autonomous flying taxi for personal use in the next few years will be disappointed. Further test will take place this year and a full taxi service in the country will hopefully launch in the next three years.

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