David Mantey Dec 09, 2020
There’s nothing more exciting than the thought of being ferried around in an autonomous flying taxi, unless you’re a risk averse person… in which case, there is probably nothing LESS exciting than the thought of a self-flying air taxi.
But regardless of your personal inclinations, there are some exciting developments being made as it relates to autonomous passenger flight, and it involves the biggest name is aerospace: NASA.
NASA has announced that it has established a partnership with Wisk, the urban air mobility company behind the world’s first first autonomous, all-electric air taxi featuring vertical takeoff and landing.
Wisk’s craft, called Cora, has undertaken more than a thousand test flights since taking to the air in 2017 and the company hopes that by teaming up with NASA, the two organizations can help build a framework for autonomous passenger flight on a national scale.
NASA and Wisk hope to develop the kind of necessary guidance on flight path management and collision avoidance, as well as the development of key certifications and standards. The end game for NASA is to accelerate US leadership in the area of autonomous flight and, for Wisk, to make Cora a reality.
According to Wisk CEO Gary Gysin, the partnership will bring the company’s “market-leading expertise in autonomy with the unmatched technical capabilities of NASA,” saying the collaboration “will not only advance autonomous passenger flight but also increase the overall safety of aviation.”
And safety gains for Wisk will be safety gains industry-wide: the company happens to be a joint-venture between Boeing and electric airplane builder Kitty Hawk Corporation.