A machine that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane is the design behind Cora, an autonomous vehicle that's taking flight from the Larry Page-backed Kitty Hawk, a flying car company.
The company carries a Silicon Valley pedigree with Sebastian Thrun as its CEO, the founder of Google X, its self-driving car project and Google's co-founder Larry Page as its major backer. Kitty Hawk is testing its flying taxis in New Zealand, where the company is working with Zephyr Airworks and the government, to construct vehicles it hopes to launch in that country first.
Airborne passenger drones or self-flying taxis are a big focal point in transportation: a way to fill our airways using environmentally-friendly vehicles. Cora, what looks to be the first working prototype from Kitty Hawk, is just one of many self-flying machines that are testing their wings. Ehang is developing a self-flying helicopter. Uber has stated its intent to build cabs that fly. And at this year's Geneva Motor Show, major manufacturers including Audi and Airbus also talked about their plans for flying cars.
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Cora takes off from the help of propellers which are connected to the vehicle's wings with another in back of its body, letting it lift upward like a helicopter. From there, the vehicle runs on self-flying technology.
The flying machine is entirely electric, emission-free, and can fly at speeds in excess of 150 kph (more than 93 mph) and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles), according to the company.