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etvfutures.com May 25, 2018


Google cofounder's flying taxi takes to the skies in New Zealand

13 March 2018, 07:20 | Brandon Parsons

Flying taxi

Flying taxi

Now, it would seem that Cora and the company behind it are nearly ready for prime time, as Kitty Hawk and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that an agreement has been reached that will see Kitty Hawk's portfolio officially tested for certification.

Zephyr said using the air taxi would be a simple experience for passengers, similar to taking a ride-share in a vehicle.

As far as flying taxis go, this one's pretty easy on the eyes. 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.

"Cora rises like a helicopter and flies like a plane, eliminating the need for a runway and creating the possibility of taking off from places like rooftops", a fact sheet by the startup reads. But it won't be available to just anybody.

The New York Times also points out that New Zealand's decision could be seen as a positive sign for other major countries like the United States.

Cora is capable of traveling at up to 110mph (180km/s) with a range of 62 miles (100km) carrying two passengers.

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When reached for additional comment Tuesday, a Kitty Hawk spokesperson would only refer us to the company's fact sheet and website.

Zee.Aero, by the way, had been testing flying cars in California in the past couple of years.

Once it's in the air, a single propeller drives Cora at about 110 miles per hour, between altitudes of 500 and 3,000 feet.

Zephyr Airworks boss Fred Reid told local media there was "a really good shot of doing this in the relatively short future" and was striving to have limited services operating in New Zealand in the next three to six years.

Kitty Hawk is led by CEO Sebastian Thrun - of Google X, Google's self-driving vehicle unit and Google Glass fame.



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