A company founded by former Google chief executive Larry Page will be announcing a deal with New Zealand to test its self-flying taxis in the country. Kitty Hawk is behind the creation of the self-flying planes.
Looks like flying taxis are closer than previously thought.
Kitty Hawk Cora
Kitty Hawk has been testing its Cora flying taxi since October 2017 in New Zealand. On March 13, it is set to announce an agreement with the prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. It will allow Kitty Hawk to test its self-flying planes as part of a certification process.
Both parties are hopeful that this will lead to a network of flying taxis in New Zealand within the next three years. Speaking to the New York Times, Ardern said that the embrace of this technology can show the world that the country is open to new ideas. She also added that they are targeting 2050 as the year New Zealand will become net carbon zero.
Kitty Hawk planes are 100 percent electric. Cora has a wingspan of 36 feet and is powered by a dozen battery-powered rotors. It is able is to take off like helicopters do and fly just like a plane and can be as fast as 110 miles per hour. The self-flying plane is limited to a distance of 62 miles and can hold two people. Cora planes can fly at an altitude of 3,00 feet.
Developers of the flying taxis say that they're much quieter than helicopters. Developers want to be able to use rooftops and parking lots as landing pads,
Cora was in development for eight years before being unveiled. Trials for the new mode of transportation will take six years, and be based around the city of Christchurch.
Kitty Hawk is only one company in a field where everyone is trying to become the first to get off of the ground. Air taxis are a popular market that other transportation is trying to fill first. Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, Airbus made an investment in Blade, and Uber is already working on the same idea with Uber Elevate.
Kitty Hawk wants to reach consumers first by being able to trial its Cora planes first in a less congested area of the world. Uber hopes to begin testing its services by 2020 in Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dubai by 2010.