Boeing and Kitty Hawk have announced a partnership “to collaborate on future efforts to advance safe urban air mobility”.
Kitty Hawk is the brainchild of Google chief executive Larry Page and is being headed by former Google executive Sebastian Thrun. The startup has developed an autonomous flying electric taxi which is currently undergoing tests in New Zealand, and a partnership with the aircraft industry giant will help ensure its flying taxis reach a much larger number of future users.
Boeing has been developing its own autonomous electric flying taxi prototype in recent years to ensure it remains competitive against Airbus and others who are also aggressively pursuing this rapidly-developing market. A joint statement released by Kitty Hawk and Boeing indicates that the partnership will help to “enhance and accelerate growth” in the marketplace while delivering “key differentiators for customers.”
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“Working with a company like Kitty Hawk brings us closer to our goal of safely advancing the future of mobility,” vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXT Steve Nordlund said. “We have a shared vision of how people, goods and ideas will be transported in the future, as well as the safety and regulatory ecosystem that will underpin that transportation.”
On his part, Thrun stated: “Kitty Hawk was started to advance technology in flight and bring new innovations to life. I am excited about our companies working together to accelerate making safe electric flight a reality.”