Larry Page aims for air taxis in New Zealand

Watch: Self-piloted flying taxi being tested in Christchurch

The craft, with a wingspan of 36 feet, can carry two people.

Airways New Zealand is piloting future technologies needed to support the arrival of autonomous flying vehicles in New Zealand airspace. To those on the ground, it has always been unclear whether there was a pilot aboard.

Larry Page is far from the only person working toward a flying taxi. A video showed a prototype aircraft flying over water, but it was unclear when it would be approved by regulators for anything more than a hobby. As an air taxi, Cora models wouldn't be for sale. That's what Page is trying to do.

In an email exchange with New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the New York Times reported that the air taxi is looking to operate commercial flights in three years - serendipitously coinciding with the timing of the launch of UberAir in Dubai.

Kitty Hawk, the flying-car startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, just unveiled its first vehicle, named Cora, and revealed where it might start flying first.

The firm hopes to use New Zealand as its base of operations for testing out the next generation of vehicles to push the envelope of aviation technology. But there was no place in the world where Cora could take the next step.

What's the difference between a plane and an flying taxi?

1 officer killed, another wounded in barricade situation
Friday after receiving a call about reckless driving, but he refused to pull over and led officers on a pursuit, sheriff's Capt. Authorities said that residents have been evacuated from the apartment building.

"New Zealand's Central Aviation Authority has the respect of the worldwide regulatory community".

It's been nearly a year since the company showed off a vehicle called Flyer, which was a much more cut-down affair that looked best designed for some new kind of aero-aquatic sport.

Thus far, the agency, which oversees much busier skies than New Zealand and has always been underfunded, has been slow to adopt rules for new technologies.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has always been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime. Dubai formed a partnership with a Chinese company, EHang.

The mystery of what has been going on in New Zealand has quietly created a stir among those in the know. "We had no Kitty Hawk of our own", the statement read (Kitty Hawk was the North Carolina town near which the Wright Brothers made their historic experimental flight).

'A path to certifying an air taxi for everyday use just didn't exist.

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