Self piloting, zero emissions flying taxis are being shown off in New Zealand. Backed by Google co-founder Larry page, the Cora is a flying vehicle, that can get you from A to B faster than pretty much any car. And while there are sure to be lots of regulatory challenges along the way, we are getting closer to the utopian dream of flying cars.
The Cora, which is made by Kitty Hawk - the company owned by Page, has 12 fans on the wings which give it enough lift to allow it to take off vertically. That means it could land on rooftops as well as in the front or backyard. Powered by electric motors, the rear prop powers the aircraft along at a lazy 150kmh for a range of about 100km.
As it's electric, the vehicle is emissions-free assuming you can charge it from a clean energy source. Which likely explains why New Zealand was chosen. Our eastern neighbour uses lots of geothermal, hydroelectric and wind power giving it some of the cleanest energy on the planet and goal of being a zero emission country by 2050. Also, New Zealand's regulators have a track record of clearing the ay for innovative projects like this.
You don't even need a pilot's license to fly the Cora. It's self piloting so all it needs are a pick up address and somewhere to drop you off. It then takes care of getting you to your destination in a straight line without having to worry about pesky thinks like traffic lights and annoying drivers. Cora's makers also say the vehicle is very quiet.
It's still early days for the Cora and we are probably still years away from broader trials with the vehicle flying in congested areas. And while seeing one in the sky is pretty cool, I wonder if we'll be happy with dozens of them are buzzing over our homes. But progress is being made on the dream of a flying car.