Flying taxi start-ups Joby Aviation and Kitty Hawk get $2 million in funding from the US military

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Flying taxi start-ups Joby Aviation and Kitty Hawk are being bankrolled by the US military. The rival companies, which are currently leading the race to build the first self-flying taxis to take to the skies, received $2 million (£1.5 million) in funding from the military last year. The funds, which were not disclosed at the time, were provided by the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon-backed organisation founded to help the US military make faster use of emerging technologies. But despite the involvement of the armed forces, there will be'no weapons' added to the autonomous flying vehicles, it has been confirmed. Joby Aviation received $970,000 (£730,890) in funding from the DIUx in January last year, while Kitty Hawk was bankrolled $1 million (£753,495) a few months later, government contracting sites uncovered by The Guardian reveal.


Google X's Sebastian Thrun: Flying car ready in February

Daily Mail - Science & tech

He's known as the'godfather of the self-driving car', and now Sebastian Thrun has set his sights on flying cars. Speaking at a conference this week, Thrun referred to flying cars as'completely crazy' but said that he believes the world is ready for the'next big thing.' He also revealed that his firm, Kitty Hawk, will have its first flying vehicle – which is more like a motorcycle than car - ready by February 2018. He's known as the'godfather of the self-driving car', and now it seems that Sebastian Thrun has set his sights on flying cars. Thrun was speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco this week, where is explained why he believes air travel will become a daily occurrence in the near future.


Larry Page's Kitty Hawk unveils autonomous flying taxis

The Guardian

Autonomous flying taxis just took one big step forward to leaping off the pages of science fiction and into the real world, thanks to Google co-founder Larry Page's Kitty Hawk. The billionaire-backed firm has announced that it will begin the regulatory approval process required for launching its autonomous passenger-drone system in New Zealand, after conducting secret testing under the cover of another company called Zephyr Airworks. The firm's two-person craft, called Cora, is a 12-rotor plane-drone hybrid that can take off vertically like a drone, but then 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, has a wingspan of 11 metres, and has been eight years in the making. "Designing an air taxi for everyday life means bringing the airport to you.


Self-Flying Taxis To Debut In Dubai Later This Year

International Business Times

Dubai, also called the Future City, will start testing aerial taxi transportation later this year. Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority announced the flying drones at the 2017 World Government Summit in February. The agency revealed plans Monday to start trials of its Autonomous Aerial Taxis during this year's fourth quarter. The agency also announced an agreement with the German company Volocopter to operate the autonomous passenger drones. When the project was first announced, the agency was working with drone company EHang for single-passenger autonomous flying vehicles.


Google X's online course teaches you to build flying cars

Daily Mail - Science & tech

You can now learn how to build a flying car in just four months thanks to a new $400 (£295) online course. Online education provider Udacity, which is owned by Google X and Kitty Hawk founder Sebastian Thrun, has announced two new'nanodegrees'. One course will teach users the basics of driverless car engineering, while another will show students how to make systems for autonomous flying vehicles. You can now learn how to build a flying car in just four months thanks to a new $400 (£295) online course. Education provider Udacity has announced two new'nanodegrees' teaching users to make driverless or flying vehicles, such as the AeroMobil car pictured here Students will learn the basics of autonomous flight, including vehicle state planning and estimation, as well as motion planning.