First self-driving, now self-flying cars. Zephyr Airworks, founded in 2016 in New Zealand as local subsidiary of Kitty Hawk, unveiled its self-flying air-taxi with 12 propellers on the wings and a wing span of 12 meters (36 feet)
Cora from Kitty Hawk lifts like a helicopter and flies like a plane. The vehicle is powered by batteries, which flies it with 2 passengers up to 100 kilometers (62 miles).
The car is flying itself. The air taxi takes on passengers and doesn’t require a pilot. The car is monitored remotely. The reason for Kitty Hawk to start in New Zealand is based on the air industry friendly regulators. Tests and the permit process of the prototype were negotiated in the past 18 months.
The CEO of Zephyr Airworks is Fred Reid, former CEO of Virgin America. Before that he was the president of Delta Air Lines and president of Lufthansa, where he co-created the Star Alliance program.
Kitty Hawk was founded by nobody less than Sebastian Thrun, winner of the DARPA Grand Challenge, which brought him to Google, where he started the self-driving car program now operating as Waymo. Investor in the company is Google-co-founder Larry Page.
Online-University Udacity, also founded by Sebastian Thrun, offers a nanodegree for developing self-flying cars.
This article has also been published in German.