Google co-founder’s drone, Larry Page, has announced that it will begin the regulatory approval process required for launching its autonomous passenger-drone system in New Zealand. The company conduced a secret testing under the cover of another company called Zephyr Airworks, according to The Guardian.
The autonomous flying taxi, called Cora, is a 12-rotor plane-drone hybrid that can take off vertically like a drone, but then uses a propeller at the back to fly at up to 110 miles an hour for around 62 miles at a time. The all-electric Cora flies autonomously up to 914 metres (3,000ft) above ground, has a wingspan of 11 metres, and has been eight years in the making.
“Designing an air taxi for everyday life means bringing the airport to you. That’s why Cora can take off and land like a helicopter, eliminating the need for runways. Cora has the potential to transform spaces like rooftops and parking lots into places to take off right from your neighbourhood,”says Kitty Hawk.
Hawk is personally financed by Page and is being run by former Google autonomous car director Sebastian Thrun. The company is trying to beat Uber and others to launching an autonomous flying taxi service.
The company hopes to have official certification and to have launched a commercial service within three years.
Kitty Hawk, the self flying taxi company, is already working on an app and technology to allow customers to hail flying taxis as they would an Uber.
Photo courtesy: The Guardian
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