Larry Page-backed flying taxi start-up could beat Uber to the punch

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An autonomous airborne vehicle by Kitty Hawk, a company backed by Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, has been having test flights in New Zealand, the company announced on Tuesday.

In fact a company called Kitty Hawk has unveiled their next step in making that a reality by taking the wraps off Cora, a flying taxi which is basically a auto that can fly. Just past year, Dubai said EHang would begin operating an autonomous flying taxi service last July.

The self-flying plane can travel at speeds up to 110 miles per hour and fly 3,000 feet off the ground, the Cora website states. Check out the design in the images and stay tuned for much more from Kitty Hawk coming soon. We had designed an air taxi, affectionately named Cora, that could take off like a helicopter and transition to flying like a plane.

Page's Kitty Hawk company revealed the Cora, a two-person plane-pod hybrid that rocks 12 rotors so it can take-off vertically like a drone.

"I have had the privilege of seeing the self-piloted air taxi and I am very excited about what it offers for future generations - to live and move in a way that has never been possible before".

At the same time, Kitty Hawk had already built a new aircraft, according to US Federal Aviation Administration registration documents.

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In an interview, Reid said the opportunity to use New Zealand as the first place to commercialize the autonomous taxi service was a step-change in the advancement of the sector.

It first made major headlines in 2017 with a video showing a large, piloted drone capable of landing on water, but the company has obviously pivoted away considerably into the flying taxi market.

In an email exchange with New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the New York Times reported that the air taxi is looking to operate commercial flights in three years - serendipitously coinciding with the timing of the launch of UberAir in Dubai.

"Unlike a helicopter, Cora is remarkably quiet", Allison said. Its wingspan is 36 feet. As we recently saw in California, US state governments have shown some willingness for companies to test autonomous driving technology, so long as cars are following the rules of the road.

According to Kitty Hawk's website, Cora is created to help you save time by "soaring over traffic", and bring the airport to you.

"New Zealand's Central Aviation Authority has the respect of the worldwide regulatory community".

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