A flying car startup with backing from Google CEO Larry Page has a new partner with a lot of experience. Kitty Hawk on Tuesday said that is partnering up with Boeing.
The U.S.-based airspace company will work with Kitty Hawk to develop its semi-autonomous Cora and Flyer drones. The Cora drone seats two passengers, while the Flyer is a single-occupant unmanned vehicle. The partnership does make sense since Kitty Hawk isn't planning for a totally autonomous flying car of sorts.
Kitty Hawk Cora flying taxi
Instead, autopilot systems will handle the majority of the work, while a human pilot takes control in various instances remotely. With Boeing's experience in automated aircraft, Kitty Hawk has itself an experienced partner. The Flyer, however, is already production ready. For now, it's only meant for use over water and "uncongested" areas. Riders won't be hovering over traffic jams just yet. The Cora, on the other hand, is supposed to be totally autonomous and Kitty Hawk thinks it could make for a superb vehicle to shuttle riders around cities quicker than a taxi or ridesharing vehicle.
Kitty Hawk Flyer
While the industry calls these contraptions "flying cars," they're really a small airplane and helicopter married together called a VTOL, or vertical take-off and landing vehicle. VTOLs can take off like a helicopter, but soar through the air similarly to an airplane.
Kitty Hawk isn't alone in trying to revolutionize how humans get around. Dozens of other companies have poured millions into prototypes and forged their own partnerships. A few notables include Uber, Lillium, and Airbus.