Air New Zealand has announced plans to bring autonomous, electric air taxis to the country.
The airline will partner with Zephyr Airworks, a flying car startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, “to make autonomous, electric air travel a reality for all New Zealanders,” it said in a statement Tuesday.
“Both companies see the potential for our airspace to free people from the constraints of traffic and its associated social, economic and environmental impacts” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said.“The possibility of getting from A to B quickly and safely, and also relieving the impact of polluting emissions, is very real indeed”
The companies didn’t announce any specific details of the plan or indicate a time-frame for when electric taxis might take to New Zealand skies.
In May, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced an agreement with Kitty Hawk, which is operated by Zephyr, to test their autonomous aircraft “Cora” as part of an official certification process. The Cora is electric and features self-piloting software and vertical take-off.
Kitty Hawk has been funded by Page, who has pursued an interest in flying cars in a personal capacity.
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