back to article Former Google X bloke's startup unveils 'self flying' electric air taxi

A “self-flying” electric air taxi, as built by a startup backed by Google moneybags Larry Page, has reportedly been undergoing flight tests in New Zealand. “What if flying across town was as easy as hopping in a rideshare? What if Cora could fly for you? Cora will combine self-flying software with expert human supervision, so …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Waaah!

    Want one! Want one!

    What do they mean, 'not available for the public'?

    For that I'd consider trying to get a PPL.

    Range?

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: Waaah!

      Says in the video, if you can stand it. 100 miles.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Waaah!

      Range?

      Answering my own question...from the Grauniad (so may be totally wrong)

      "...uses a propeller at the back to fly at up to 110 miles an hour for around 62 miles at a time. The all-electric Cora flies autonomously up to 914 metres (3,000ft) above ground"

      Can I replace 2nd passenger with extra batteries?

    3. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Waaah!

      I want Page, et al to be flying in them all the time. What could possibly go wrong?

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Waaah!

      Makes sense on a lot of levels to only allow rideshares & airlines to own them:

      1. Retail customers suck up of a lot more resources per dollar generated than fleet customers at the sales & marketing levels.

      2. Aircraft maintenance is always a big deal. The more regular use also means incipient failures are more likely to be spotted. Organizations with fleets tend to adhere to FAA (or equivalent) requirements better than individuals due to the more regular use of the equipment.

      3. The fleet customer gets sued first in the even of a mishap, with the manufacturer next in line. In retail, the manufacturer gets sued first.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Waaah!

        @ The Man Who Fell To Earth

        Up-voted for your very well made points; also for your somewhat relevant handle...

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Waaah!

        >Makes sense on a lot of levels to only allow rideshares & airlines to own them

        Because they are probably the only one's who can potentially justify having space and facilities necessary for landing's and take-off's; I can't see this working on any typical high street (too many people and vehicles and overhead obstructions), or even retail park - watching people trying to get their Toys-r-us or DIY/Ikea purchase in their car's and you'll soon understand the problem...

        So this effectively becomes an air limo used by busy executives who need to get from the centre of London say to Heathrow or Stansted without mixing with the hoi polloi...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Waaah!

          So this effectively becomes an air limo used by busy executives who need to get from the centre of London say to Heathrow or Stansted without mixing with the hoi polloi...

          That's the best use case. Given the restrictions on movements in congested airspace, I can't see there's the bandwidth for many of these to be in operation on those routes - so suddenly the global market shrinks dramatically. But there's the other use case of personal transport for execs - the people currently rich enough to hire or be provided with a chauffeur driven car. Even then, this isn't a mass market.

          A lovely idea, but apparently driven by "because we can" rather than "because it will be commercially successful and we'll make loads of money".

          1. Sirius Lee

            Re: Waaah!

            Seems like a fair point but if you applied that logic to the first computers or mobile phones (who else is going to pay for those satellites and masts but rich people) then you will ever get any innovation.

            My biggest concern about the design as shown is those uncovered fan blades. Sure, they are *supposed* to switched off while passengers get in and out but, oops.

  2. John Mangan

    I'm not an aviation engineer...

    ..and I couldn't tell if the video was an actual test flight or just a simulation - sound off at work - but doesn't having the props in front of the wing disturb the airflow and reduce efficiency?

    Also, they say that the props can be controlled independently but how many can fail and still allow for a safe, if bumpy, landing?

    Also, also, if this is supposed to be a city-based air taxi why was the video flying over mountains and valleys; are they trying to imply the range is greater than it actually is or is the air taxi idea just to start the commercial ball rolling?

    1. hopkinse

      Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

      I presume the wings aren't for decoration, i.e. once it picks up a bit of speed the wing takes more of the load and the vertical fans are throttled-back, therefore the wing behaves as normally expected, until it needs to slow down when the fans will kick in again

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

      "but doesn't having the props in front of the wing disturb the airflow and reduce efficiency?"

      Yes it would have an effect on the airflow and efficiency during flight. But, I would imagine, the effect of having the props in front of thew wing with a clear sight of ground gives you greater efficiency during the take-off and landing phase (which are somewhat more critical).

      So your probably not able to fly as fast, and you use more fuel in cruise, but your more efficient and lose less fuel in take-off and landing (then repositioning the fans to behind the wing or on top of the wing).

      Where I'm not certain about is the transition between when the fans are still going and yet your starting to pick up forward speed I can see some very weird lift effects happening due to the disturbed airflow from the fans. still if its already flying they've obviously done the maths.

      (PS. I am an aerospace engineer, but not affiliated with this, and so this is just my gut feelings...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

        (PS. I am an aerospace engineer, but not affiliated with this

        Cool!

        Normally I expect discussion on these issues to have the disclaimer IANAAE at the end.

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

      > if this is supposed to be a city-based air taxi why was the video flying over mountains and valleys;

      During development they don't want it falling on cars and pedestrians. The odd goat they can deal with.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

      "Also, also, if this is supposed to be a city-based air taxi why was the video flying over mountains and valleys"

      Because the development flying has been done in the S Island of New Zealand where they have lots of mountains and valleys but relatively few cities.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I'm not an aviation engineer...

      "..and I couldn't tell if the video was an actual test flight or just a simulation - sound off at work - but doesn't having the props in front of the wing disturb the airflow and reduce efficiency?"

      And on a similar note, they state a maximum range then say that's not a problem, it's meant for "rideshare" like use in a city. Great, except I'm pretty sure each VTOL operation is going to eat significantly into that range. I wonder how long it takes to charge and how many short trips between charges? It sounds like a good idea, but without some significant battery tech improvements I think we're no further than Beriots channel hopper rather the Jetsons.

  3. Charles 9 Silver badge

    A comparison in fuel costs and operational complexity versus the average urban helicopter would be useful, too.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      How many average urban helicopters are there?

      Do most cities allow helicopters to fly over them? Or land on the buildings?

      New York banned copter landings on buildings, after an incident in the 70s I think (Pan Am Building?). I don't know the other rules. London only allows helicopter flights over the Thames - and they're only allowed to land at Battersea heliport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "New York banned copter landings on buildings, after an incident in the 70s I think (Pan Am Building?). I don't know the other rules. London only allows helicopter flights over the Thames - and they're only allowed to land at Battersea heliport."

        was it this?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czvv01yL0nA

      2. Vittal Aithal

        How many average urban helicopters are there?

        @I ain't Spartacus

        I think it was the Daily Planet building - a 206 JetRanger fell off. Thankfully nobody got hurt, because a bloke who has trouble remembering whether his pants go on the inside or outside, turned-up and saved everybody.

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Sparty... re- Pan Am

        Yes it was the Pan Am building. When I was a kid, I took the flight with my parents and siblings on one of those larger Sikorksky twin rotor units. (The same one that crashed.)

        From the building to JFK on an international flight.

        To your point... it depends on the city and the type of aircraft and then there's a minimum altitude. It will vary city by city. In Chicago there are only a couple of places you can land so YMMV.

      4. Christoph Silver badge

        "London only allows helicopter flights over the Thames"

        Could you please tell that to the police helicopters that circle round and round and round near my house at 3 in the morning?

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          London only allows *single engined* helicopter flights east of Barnes bridge over the Thames.

          Multi-engined helicopters and the Police, HEMS and military can go wherever ATC let them.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Could you please tell that to the police helicopters that circle round and round and round near my house at 3 in the morning?"

          What you should really be worrying about is what's going on on the ground to bring them there.

      5. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Do most cities allow helicopters to fly over them? Or land on the buildings?"

        Most I know. News and police helicopters are ubiquitous sights everywhere I go, so there are plenty of examples. As for landing on the buildings, that depends on the local situation, but it's pretty easy to determine if a given building has a rooftop helipad.

      6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Do most cities allow helicopters to fly over them?"

        Lisburn is a city nowadays and when we lived there we got rather a lot of low flying helicopters overhead. I wouldn't have been surprised if our roof had tyre marks on it. We were rather close to Thiepval barracks.

    2. rmason Silver badge

      @Charles 9

      I'm not sure there are enough "urban helicopters" for there to be an "average" one.

      I'm sure they aren't after helicopter owners specifically. More train/ferry/car/bus etc users. Seems a more sensible target market.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "More train/ferry/car/bus etc users"

        The operating cost of these things surely means they will be aimed at last few miles for the owners of private jets. Helicopters are very expensive to run.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: "More train/ferry/car/bus etc users"

          Most of the cost could be saved by these.. as no turbines to be inspected or serviced.

          And yes, I see this as an alternative to go from/to the jet.

          The range is way too short.. how is this thing ever going to be approved? no fuel to go to alternate airport (or 30 mins for a heli)

          "[14 CFR 91, §91.167]

          (a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in IFR conditions unless it carries enough fuel (considering weather reports and forecasts and weather conditions) to—

          (1) Complete the flight to the first airport of intended landing;

          (2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, fly from that airport to the alternate airport; and

          (3) Fly after that for 45 minutes at normal cruising speed or, for helicopters, fly after that for 30 minutes at normal cruising speed."

          So this can fly for an hour.. and will be restricted to 30 mins max.. I frankly dont see how this could work with existing rules.

  4. johnnyblaze

    Not yet.

    Until they can have truly autonomous flying cars where you don't need a pilots license, or to register a flight plan, don't cost stupid money or have to use a runway these will always stay in the R&D phase.

    There will also have to be big changes to the way aircraft/flying vehicles are regulated and controlled, and that will take years and years. I think realistically, we're looking beyond 2030, maybe even 2040 until personal flying vehicles become even remotely viable.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not yet.

      And then there's the huge issues of fuel efficiency and failure modes, especially once the numbers add up.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Re: Not yet.

        IF Failure Mode = ON

        THEN engage sub-routine Plummet_Earthwards

        ELSE engage sub-routine Tallyho

  5. John Hawkins

    Richard Pearse

    "Kitty Hawk"? In NZ? FFS!!

    Hope there's a bloke sitting an a maimai with his 12 gauge ready for when it flies past..

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Richard Pearse

      Downvoters might want to google "Richard Pearse" for some context first.

      1. John Hawkins

        Re: Richard Pearse

        Maybe they did - not everybody is OK with the thought that the Wright boys weren't first with powered flight.

        Old cockies in the area in the 1980s (mate of mine worked on a farm there back then) remembered Pearse as a cranky old bloke, so my guess is he had Asperger's or something similar.

        1. Coen Dijkgraaf

          Re: Richard Pearse

          The phase they use on Wikipedia for Richard Pearse is "Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled flight.". The key words being sustained and controlled, although Richard Pearse might have gotten into the air earlier, his flights "achieved no more than brief hops".

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Coat

        Downvoters might want to google "Richard Pearse" for some context first.

        Also a certain "Warren Buffet"

  6. Nik 2

    Not all issues are created equal

    “Because our fans & propellers are electric, they can operate independently. An issue with one has no effect on the others,”

    Unless the issue is a flat battery :-/

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Flame

      Re: Not all issues are created equal

      Or a burning one...

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Not again!

    ...location of the Wright Brothers’ first ever manned flight more than a century ago....

    NO!!!

    The first ever 'manned flight' that was well attested would be the Montgolfier Brothers balloon in 1783 - though the Chinese probably had man-carrying kites in antiquity.

    First ever 'heavier-than-air manned flight' would be Sir George Cayley's glider in the 1850s. The French then take over, producing a number of powerd 'hops' in the period up to 1890 - some of which flew a few hundred yards.Lilienthal is, of course, famous for developing the controllable hang-glider with many flights to his credit. Several people around the world were flying by one definition or another before 1903.

    The Wrights managed two breakthroughs. The first was really a joint development with Charles Taylor - a lightweight but powerul engine. The second was a practical 3-axis control system - though it was only just practical, being almost impossible to control. With that, they can reasonably lay claim to having the first 'sustained' 'engine-powered', 'heavier-than-air', 'controlled' man-carrying aircraft - though note that this does not count 'being able to take-off with no external help'. It was really 1905 before their aircraft could claim to be a full-functional flying machine, and by then there were a number of other machines around the world with similar capabilities.

    This is not to belittle the Wright's achievment - their control system, though crude and unscaleable, was the most advanced of its day and a key reason for their success. It's just that people regularly seem to think that the Wrights invented the aeroplane, which is simply not the case. They were the first to manage to combine a number of useful features in a practical plane - but if they had never existed, those same features were all being independently worked on, and would still have been presented to the world around 1905 by Santos-Dumont, or Langley, or Whitehead, or Vosin....

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: Not again!

      While the inclusion of the word "ever" does add some ambiguity, I think the meaning is still clear - that the first flight of the Wright Brothers was at Kitty Hawk, not that the Wright Brothers were the first to fly. Personally, I would have left out "ever" and replaced "manned" with "powered" but even that, as you point out, is subject to debate.

    2. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Not again!

      Gliders don't fly, they simply fall with style

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Not again! - Gliders don't fly, they simply fall with style

        Upvoted for strict correctness, but of course sailplanes can fly so long as there are enough thermals.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Not again! - Gliders don't fly, they simply fall with style

          The trick is just to find places where the air is falling up faster than you are falling down. Style is almost always a good thing in these matters.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Not again! - Gliders don't fly, they simply fall with style

            I thought the art to flying was “in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Not again!

      > think that the Wrights invented the aeroplane,

      They did have the patent on ailerons. This held back aircraft development for a few years.

      You get the same effect with "Lindbergh was the first to fly the Atlantic" - he was around 57th.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Not again!

        "You get the same effect with "Lindbergh was the first to fly the Atlantic" - he was around 57th."

        Do you include the important qualifications of "solo" and "nonstop"?

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Not again!

      "The first ever 'manned flight' that was well attested would be the Montgolfier Brothers balloon in 1783 - though the Chinese probably had man-carrying kites in antiquity."

      For that matter European military commanders were using man-carrying kites well before the Montgolfiers.

      What the Wrights got was the first _sustained, controlled_ powered flight. More importantly, they had someone onhand to actually photograph it.

      Pearse probably got into the air before the Wrights for some brief hops. His engine was certainly unique, but the design was essentially even more uncontrollable than the Wright Flyer (And I say that advisedly, as a Kiwi - the Wright Flyer was dangerous contraption using wing warping techniques which was only barely controllable in the air. The Wrights themselves abandoned it in favour of a Spad-type design. There was a lot of interest in powered flight at the time, with the Wrights only being a few weeks ahead of competitors in getting into the air first with "sustained controlled" flight, but not necessarily "safe, controllable repeatable" flight. - there's a similar story on the Transistor. It may have been invented "first" at AT&T but there were several groups independently working on developing the thing. The AT&T point contact version was only days ahead of the thin-film one that Philips got working - and Philips were able to commercialise their version whilst AT&T were still trying to work out how to make reliably repeatable batches of their version.)

  8. Paddy Fagan

    Space Hopper knock-off?

    Did they nick the design from DM's space hopper? http://danmacgregor.wikia.com/wiki/Space_Hopper

  9. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Coat

    Can't see this idea taking off...

  10. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    "Never have to stop at traffic lights"

    A holding pattern on the other hand. . .

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fantastic...

    visualization.

  12. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Because our fans & propellers are electric, they can operate independently. An issue with one has no effect on the others,”

    Hmm - an interesting take on 'because' - so they have independent batteries and controllers and links to the main controls?

  13. WolfFan Silver badge

    Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

    The lift fans are unsafe: no ducts. The propulsion fan is unsafe: no duct. The machine is unsafe: it's got a massive battery pack. The machine is unsafe: there is no way to safely exit it in flight (see unsafe lift and propulsion fans, with the propulsion fan being behind the passenger compartment. The machine is unsafe: it is designed for operation over an urban area. In the event of a problem, after the passengers are converted to cutlets by the fans, the machine will land on the heads of people on the ground, and the unsafe battery will short to ground, starting a nice little metal fire. (Hmm. Li-ion battery on fire. Remind the fire service to not use water to try to put that out.) The machine is unsafe: it has a pitiful range, so that it will be difficult for it to get outside of the urban area if there's a problem, unless the problem is early enough in the flight. The machine is unsafe: without a pilot it won't be operating in controlled airspace, which means low, ensuring the minimum margin for error.

    Just write the settlement check now.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

      "The lift fans are unsafe: no ducts" etc.

      There are these things called helicopters...

      I remember going along to give evidence at a coroner's inquest. One of the cases before mine was about a squaddie who'd gone round the back of the helicopter he'd just left and into the tail rotor. In fact, it's that case I remember and not my own. I thought of it when I actually got a lift to a scene in one. The landing was on slightly sloping ground & I just remembered that case in time and decided that leaving down-slope was better than leaving up-slope.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

        There are these things called helicopters...

        The number of people killed or very seriously injured by helicopter rotors is rather high. They're unsafe, too. Just not as unsafe as these things, helos have only two rotors, and usually the problem is with the tail rotor. These things have multiple fans, right next to the doors. They're an accident waiting to happen.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

      So tell me what is the procedure when a police helicopter has a problem?

      As for LiPo battery fires, how come SOP on an airliner when one of these catches is to pour water on it because corralling the thermal runaway takes priority?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

        So tell me what is the procedure when a police helicopter has a problem?

        Sadly, people die.

      2. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

        So tell me what is the procedure when a police helicopter has a problem?

        Helicopters have rotor blades, not fans. If they are 100 metres or so above ground level, they can autorotate down, and can land in a semi-controlled manner. If they are 10 metres or less above ground level, they can land using ground effect in a rather less semi-controlled manner. If they are between roughly 10 and 100 metres, all aboard them are going to die. And they will take anyone underneath (who doesn't run away really fast) with them.

        As for LiPo battery fires, how come SOP on an airliner when one of these catches is to pour water on it because corralling the thermal runaway takes priority?

        Because the batteries on tablets, cell phones, and laptops are much smaller than the batteries in an electric aeroplane. Please. Please. Please, pour water on the battery of a burning electric car. Stand really close when you do it. You will see, briefly, exactly why this is Very Bad Idea.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Achtung! Lawyers at 6 o'clock high!

          "Because the batteries on tablets, cell phones, and laptops are much smaller than the batteries in an electric aeroplane. Please. Please. Please, pour water on the battery of a burning electric car. Stand really close when you do it. You will see, briefly, exactly why this is Very Bad Idea."

          Then please,please, please, PLEASE demonstrate the presence of pure lithium in a LiPo battery.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicle_fire_incidents

          Because electric vehicles have been safely extinguished with water. Why, by your logic, it would be impossible to dissolve table salt or NuSalt (which contain sodium and potassium, respectively, both in the same family of metals with the same hydrogolic risks).

  14. Justicesays
    Black Helicopters

    I can see a number of issues

    1) I'm sorry, our emergency pilot take over service is experiencing high volumes of calls at the moment. Please hold, your plane is important to us and someone will be with you as soon as possible.

    2) Who wants the job of doing nothing for extended periods, then suddenly being thrown into an emergency situation you have no prior knowledge of, and where the live of several people depend on your decisions.

    3) Unlike a normal pilot, where if you screw up enough you are generally not in a position to be questioned, if some remote takeover pilot screws up they will always be available for their performance to be critiqued by the CAA/FAA etc. This might put off "real" commercial pilots who could lose their licenses over some bad decision made in 2) above.

    4) I prefer to fly in vehicles where the person controlling it also has a high vested interest in the airworthiness, design and safety of the vehicle. i.e. is also in the fragile vehicle, 1000's of feet above the ground.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I can see a number of issues

      "Who wants the job of doing nothing for extended periods, then suddenly being thrown into an emergency situation you have no prior knowledge of, and where the live of several people depend on your decisions."

      Fire brigades, emergency ambulances, lifeboats... It wouldn't be a unique situation.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: I can see a number of issues

        Except the circumstances aren't as urgent. Police, fire companies, and ambulances usually are informed as they're deployed as to the upcoming situation, and the travel time (minutes vs. seconds) usually offers a chance to formulate a plan of approach.

        Lifeboats are usually deployed for one reason: people overboard, so it's easy to train for the limited range of circumstances that entails.

        Whereas being forced into an unfamiliar but true emergency (read: respond in a few seconds or you and everyone inside dies) is TOO urgent.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do they bother with this autonomous flying vehicle stuff?

    Wings are a great idea, it can glide down when batteries run out mid-flight. In addition to the parachute, a lot safer than the usual flying-car-vapourware.

    They would never allow these in UK cities - the wings mean more space is required than without, can't see these landing on most lawns anyway, or allowed on UK roads.

    The range is a major problem - it's too short to be useful, especially given the lack of landing sites in built up areas. Would bring a whole other level of fear to range anxiety.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why do they bother with this autonomous flying vehicle stuff?

      "or allowed on UK roads."

      Well, no, of course not. It's an aircraft, not a car and doesn't convert into one.

  16. steelpillow Silver badge
    FAIL

    Stick it alongside Elon's underground bus, Larry, and go home.

    I have seen a lot of bright aircraft designs come and go. If your ambition stretches only to short-range, low and slow air taxi stuff, then a conventional helicopter is simpler, cheaper, more practical and more efficient.

    Three dubious innovations in one:

    * Bizarre configuration is inherently less inefficient.

    * Electric batteries cannot deliver power-to-weight for endurance and economic utilisation.

    * Autonomous cars are not working out easy to do, never mind aircraft.

    Any one of these is enough to kill the project. This thing is just an impractical toy, it really is.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Stick it alongside Elon's underground bus, Larry, and go home.

      I think we are a lot closer to an autonomous aircraft than an autonomous car. The planes you travel in today spend most of their time on autopilot.

  17. jonathan keith

    My eyes!

    By god it's ugly!

  18. Stu 18

    https://lilium.com/

    Way cooler looking and more aerodynamic at a guess

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: https://lilium.com/

      I'd like to upvote but my bullshit-meter is well into the red. Yes, in spite of the (heavily edited) "first flight" video.

  19. Neoc

    Nope. Nope, nope , nope.

    "unlike cars, Cora travels in a straight line"

    One of the reasons I bought my house where I did was because it was AWAY FROM TRAFFIC. The last thing I want is for these bozos to suddenly decide they have the right to fly over my house day and night.

  20. Nimby
    Mushroom

    Cora will combine self-flying software with expert human supervision

    But probably not in a 1-to-1 ratio. How many Coras does one "pilot" get to handle at the same time? Might be fine if nothing ever goes wrong, but sure hope the day never comes that someone attacks all Coras simultaneously. I think I'd rather my Skytaxi of Death be an oversized quadcopter drone with either autorotation or an emergency parachute (or 4), thanks.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    "Fully electric"..."Emissions free"

    Are you f**king kidding me?

    Had they said "Emissions free where it's operating" that would have been accurate.

    What they said (given where most electricity actually comes from) is flat out bu***hit.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: "Fully electric"..."Emissions free"

      > What they said (given where most electricity actually comes from) is flat out bu***hit.

      """Flight tests have been taking place in New Zealand"""

      In the South Island, where this is being flown, almost all electricity is hydro. Thus they are perfectly correct. How it operates in your country may depend on how archaic your electricity system is.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "Fully electric"..."Emissions free"

        Or how dense your population. I mean, how many people total are there in the South Island? The biggest city they have down there is Christchurch, and it's still smaller than the likes of Wellington and especially Auckland on the North Island. If you want to prove the worthiness of renewable power, you need to be able to handle even the worst cases, and frankly, even Auckland isn't a real challenge compared to the major metropolises across the water in Australia: Perth, Brisbane, and especially Melbourne and Sydney.

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