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US-based aviation company Kitty Hawk has revealed its self-piloted flying taxi called ‘Cora.’
The two-passenger flying car, which has been in the works for eight years, can fly as fast as 150 kilometers per hour. Because it lifts off and lands vertically, it does not require a runway. Cora operates through a self-flying software backed by human surveillance. In the event of power loss, a parachute will be available for emergency landing.
The flying taxi is 100% electric, which makes it emission-free. Because of this, New Zealand’s minister for research, science and innovation Megan Woods believes that Cora can help the country achieve its mission of having zero emissions by 2050.
Although no definite target date has been set for Cora’s official launch, Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun said that the flying taxi might be able to officially operate within five years.
Currently, Kitty Hawk is working hand in hand with the New Zealand government in making the air taxis commercially available. The company is also reportedly developing an app that lets customers book flying taxis.
Aside from Cora, another flying taxi is in the works. Ridesharing app Uber is currently developing uberAIR—an app-based air taxi service that will cater to different cities in the United States and Dubai. The service, which is a collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will utilize four-passenger flying cars.
Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden said that the service aims to alleviate traffic congestion.
The company plans to conduct its first trial run in 2020 in Dallas and Los Angeles. It expects to launch its first batch of commercial flights by 2023.