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Boeing has invested $ 450 million in the Wisk Aero startup company, a self-steering flying electric taxi manufacturer. Cora, as the electric taxi is called, takes off and lands like a helicopter flies like an airplane and does not require a pilot.
Cora has already flown 1,500 times, so the technology works. The money will now give Wisk resources to get FAA approval and then start production in earnest.
The goal is to have a commercial service up and running within five years. Wisk initially plans to carry out 14 million flights a year and transport 40 million people in 20 cities across the United States, completely emission-free.
The idea is that customers should order Cora via an app just like you order a regular taxi today. One difference, of course, is that the app shows where Cora can take off and land. Another difference is that there is no driver or pilot involved.
The latter is a significant reason why Boeing is now investing so heavily in Wisk.
"Autonomy is the key to being able to scale up Advanced Air Mobility for both passengers and goods. That is why Wisk has from the beginning had it as a basic principle to develop autonomous flights", says Marc Allen, Chief Strategy Officer at Boeing, in a press release.