We have long been talking about flying cars. For some people it sounds crazy. Those who are laughing at flying cars are also scared of the coming self-driving cars. A car without a driver. And it is just around the corner.
You don`t need a pilot. The new self-flying car has three independent flight computers and can continue to navigate if one fails. The rotors on the self-flying car works independently and if all of them fails, the vehicle has a parachute for landing in a pinch.
Kitty Hawk is the name of the company developing the new self-flying car called Cora. The company is founded by Alphabet and Google CEO Larry Page.
Last year, Kitty Hawk released footage of a prototype aircraft that flew over water, and yesterday they unveiled its commercial plane. They are now working with the New Zealand government to commercialize its air taxis. Just like Uber, but in skies.
Cora is autonomous and can travel at 150 kmh. Not only that; it is all-electric with a range of 100 kilometers. On top of that; it takes ofF and lands vertically which means you don
t have to worry about building thousands of runways. Its like a helicopter, so you just need a rooftop or so.
Cora is self-piloting, so you don`t need a pilot license, and unlike cars on the road, it travels in a straight line and it will never have to stop at a traffic light.
Minister for research, science and innovation for New Zealand, Megan Woods, said that Cora fits in with New Zealand`s aim of having net zero emissions by 2050. Kitty Hawk is operating in New Zealand as Zephyr Airworks.
Kitty Hawk is one of two self-driving-car companies Larry Page have invested in. But they are not alone on the market. Uber is collaborating with NASA to make its flying cars, and Chinese company Ehang is developing an all-electric passenger drone.
Smaller start-ups targeting pilotless passenger aircraft include Lilium, Terrafugia and Joby. At the end of last year, Munich-based Lilium raised $90m from Tencent and venture firms including Niklas Zennstrom
s Atomico and Evan Williams Obvious Ventures.
According to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos, two-third of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of self-driving cars. It sounds scary, but Axa, the insurance company, carried out a crash test on autonomous vehicles.
Axa said in a report that about 90 percent of car accidents recorded in Switzerland were caused by the driver. So, if you remove the driver from the car, you could potentially remove 90 percent of the accidents.
We are just a few years away from self-driving cars and self-flying cars being part of the major traffic. Kitty Hawk are planning to launch its fleet of flying taxis in the next three years.
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