Kitty Hawk is testing electric self-flying taxis in New Zealand


Meanwhile, Google's Larry Page has been funding a company that will bypass all of that.

In April previous year, Google co-founder Larry Page publicly announced he was building an electric, flying auto through a company called Kitty Hawk.

The report says Kitty Hawk is already working on a taxi-hailing app, and plans to run the entire operation itself.

This time around, though, Kitty Hawk's ambitions are bigger. Like Kitty Hawk's Cora, many rely on drone technology and vertical takeoff and landing, so they don't need a runway.

Capacity: Designed for two passengers.

Testing of a self-piloted air taxi is taking place in Canterbury, with the hope the flying service could soon take to the skies.

An "air taxi" developed by Page's Kitty Hawk company, the electric aircraft is intended for use as part of a transportation service instead of sale to individual users.

Range: Initially about 62 miles / about 100 kilometres. As the New York Times explains, today the company will join with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce an agreement to test the vehicles there.

"Christchurch is committed to becoming carbon neutral and we are embracing future technologies in the areas of future transport, future foods, Antarctica and space technology, technical adventure clothing, social enterprise - we are open for business and making strong strides in these areas".

Flying cars, autonomous or otherwise, have picked up major traction in the last few years. Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun (who previously ran Google's self-driving auto project), said the first thing officials asked was how they could make the regulatory process faster for Kitty Hawk.

Several other companies, including Uber and Airbus, are also racing to commercialize flying taxis. Intel had a wild one at CES this year, too. It looked less like a auto than a jet ski with wings.