After eight years of development, Google co-founder Larry Page’s flying car company, Kitty Hawk, has decided to shut down its operations and liquidate its assets. The Kitty Hawk Flyer was meant to be the world’s first autonomous electric aircraft capable of taking off from land or water and traveling around 100 miles on a charge — using four propellers and eight batteries, according to the firm’s website.
Kittyhawk, the flying automobile firm founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, said Wednesday that it is closing down.
The business stated on LinkedIn that it was still working out the specifics of what would come next.
When Page hired Sebastian Thrun, who had previously worked on self-driving vehicles and other experimental projects at Google, to build electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in 2010, Kittyhawk was first known as Zee.Aero. In 2017, the business showed a video showcasing a flying car, and Thrun stated he saw a time when people will be able to hail flying cars using an app similar to Lyft or Uber.
In 2018, Kittyhawk unveiled a Flyer flying vehicle prototype that could carry one person and go up to 20 kilometres. In an interview with CNBC earlier that year, Thrun predicted that the models will fly in five years. The next year, the business unveiled a strategic alliance with the Boeing Company.
According to rumours, Kittyhawk revealed intentions to end the Flyer programme by 2020 and moved its attention to an electric plane it calls the Heaviside.
The cooperation with Boeing won’t be impacted by today’s statement, a spokeswoman told CNBC.
“Boeing’s dedication to Wisk is unaffected by Kitty Hawk’s decision to halt operations. Being a founding member of Wisk Aero makes us proud, and we are enthusiastic about the work they are doing to promote innovation and sustainability via the development of future electric aviation. We do not anticipate that Kitty Hawk’s announcement will have any impact on Wisk’s operations or other endeavours. To clarify, we’re committed to making our collaboration succeed and are focused on delivering on this shared vision.