Ready for liftoff? Two flying taxi startups got Pentagon funding
by Ern2906 ·
Exclusive: Self-flying vehicle firms get$ 2m last year, as military envisages taxis as more Blade Runner than Back to the Future
Two start-ups leading the race to construct the first self-flying taxis are using money from the US military.
Last year, Kitty Hawk and Joby Aviation received a total of virtually$ 2m from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental( DIUx ), a Pentagon organization founded to assistance Americas military make faster use of emerging technologies. Neither company , nor the DIUx, disclosed the funding at the time.
The website for Cora, Kitty Hawks experimental air taxi, underscores its role in solving urban transportation challenges: Cora is about the time you could save rising over traffic. The people you could visit. The moments that move you.
The DIUxs vision for small electric aircraft is less Back to the Future and more Blade Runner, according to a document that detailed the personal aerial vehicles funding program. It reads: These vehicles will … offer a niche ability for specific tactical applications with a low acoustic signature, near instantaneous start/ stop, ability to spread an assault force-out across multiple vehicles, and automated systems.
Joby Aviation received $970,000 from the DIUx in January last year, with Kitty Hawk receiving$ 1m a few months later, according to government contracting websites.
Neither company appears to have been running short of money, though. The billionaire Google co-founder Larry Page is bankrolling Kitty Hawk, while Joby closed a fresh $100 m investment round in February this year, utilizing traditional venture capital companies.