If all goes as planned, a passenger-transport trial using an autonomous, all-electric air taxi called Cora may soon begin in Canterbury, New Zealand, as reported in a press release by Wisk this week. That government recently inked a memorandum of understanding with Wisk, an urban mobility company based in Mountain View, California. Wisk was created in 2019 as a joint venture between The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. With the agreement in place, planning for a passenger transport trial in Canterbury is now underway. Once established, the passenger route is expected to be the world’s first and will commence after Cora’s certification by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
In October 2019, the New Zealand government announced it was establishing an industry-wide airspace integration trial to work with leading domestic and international industry partners to safely test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft. Wisk was announced as the first industry partner to join the program.
Wisk CEO, Gary Gysin, said, “We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand.” In a news release, Wisk also said, “Urban Air Mobility is an emerging, high-value industry, and New Zealand is an attractive location because of its thriving innovation ecosystem with unique expertise, people and technology.”