Hi-Tech

Larry Page's pilotless air taxis now flying openly in New Zealand

Larry Page's pilotless air taxis now flying openly in New Zealand

Google Co-Founder Larry Page invested heavily in a very secretive company called Kitty Hawk, run by Google X's former executive Sebastian Thrun, and now the self-piloting flying taxis that the company has been working on are ready to be revealed to the public.

Formerly Zee.Aero, Zephyr Airworks is Kitty Hawk's operator in New Zealand, although the companies haven't put a timeline on when it will be available for rides.

Kitty Hawk, which has so far only demonstrated its piloted recreational hovercraft (a luxury item created to help it spur development of its autonomous air taxis) has been testing its autonomous electric passenger aircraft, which resembles a small plane with variable rotors that can go from a vertical alignment for take-off and landing, to a horizontal one for flying like an ordinary plane through the skies.

Flying from the South Island into the future - without a pilot South Island testing of autonomous air travel is being welcomed by Christchurch Airport. With a 36-foot wingspan, the aircraft flies between 500 and 3,000 feet above the ground at around 110 miles per hour.




The good folks over at Kitty Hawk are looking to change the game of flight. "Cora could fly for you", it said in a promotional video. "We saw Cora's potential as a sustainable, efficient and transformative technology that can enrich people's lives, not only in New Zealand, but ultimately the whole world".

"Christchurch Airport's growing reputation as a test bed for innovation, and in particular autonomy, is growing, because we combine the right physical environment for safe testing with understanding of technological advances".

"They could have laughed us out of the room".

"This aircraft represents the evolution of the transport eco system to one that responds to a global challenge around traffic and congestion, and is kinder to the planet".