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By 15 March 2018 | Categories: news

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Autonomous cars? So 2017. The business now seems to be self-piloting air-taxis. According to the The Guardian, Google co-founder Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk passenger drone system is kicking off in a big way, and has started the process to get regulatory approval to operate in New Zealand. 

The Cora air taxi is the craft the company is touting. This all-electric craft is powered by 12 independent lift fans and comes across as an oversized drone, which it basically is, except that it transitions to winged flight after lift-off. 

This allows it to take off and land like a helicopter - which opens up rooftops and other small spaces as potential hop on and off points – but move like an airplane. 

Designed to fly about 150 m to 900 m off the ground, the Cora can transport two passengers and travels in the region of 100 km on a single charge. With a top speed of 180 km, it’s pretty much up to scratch speed wise with smaller sized helicopters. Talking of which, Kitty Hawk notes that Cora operates at a lower volume than regular helicopters, and that it combines self-flying software with human oversight in order to keep it safe. Just in case things go pear-shaped, there is parachute that will pop out if the craft needs to land without its fans.

The Cora will not be available to the public, but rather sold to companies looking to start ride-sharing ventures similar to Uber. As to a time frame on when it will become available,  getting the necessary approval will be one of the biggest obstacles in its way towards a set date. 

Interested in this taxi of the future? Hit play to learn more and see the Cora in action. 

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