The New Zealand government and urban mobility company Wisk announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to start a pilot test program for a passenger transport service in the Canterbury region.
Wisk is the company that derives from a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation, the startup of Google founder Larry Page, responsible for the creation of Cora, the autonomous flying vehicle that will be used in the tests of the service. In October of last year, the Zephyr Airworks branch company for New Zealand, had closed an agreement with Air New Zeland and the country government, for a partnership to build the first service in this segment.
The announcement was reinforced by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation of New Zealand, Hon Dr Megan Woords, stressing that passenger transport is the next step in testing in order to help the company establish itself as a worldwide technology pioneer in the sector. The minister shares the company's vision of developing green mobility solutions, without emissions, not only for the local population, as visitors. New Zealand has plans to get rid of carbon entirely by 2050.
The Canterbury passenger transport route will be the first worldwide and will start as soon as the company receives the Cora certification issued by the New Zealand civil aviation authority.
The autonomous vehicle is equipped with a 12-blade rotor, allowing it to take flight and land vertically. Being fully electric, it can fly between 150 to 900 meters in height and carry two passengers at a speed of around 180 km / h for a range of 100 kilometers.