Google co-founder’s flying car startup is winding down

Technology

Larry Page
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Google co-founder Larry Page’s flying car startup Kittyhawk is winding down, the company announced Wednesday.

“We’re still working on the details of what’s next,” the company wrote in a LinkedIn post.

Kittyhawk was founded as Zee.Aero in 2010 when Page recruited Sebastian Thrun, who had worked on self-driving cars and other experimental projects at Google, to create electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The company unveiled a demonstration video of a flying car in 2017, and Thrun said he envisioned a time when people would be able to hail flying cars through an app like Lyft or Uber.

Kittyhawk showcased a flying car model called the Flyer in 2018 that could hold one person and fly up to 20 miles. Thrun told CNBC in an interview earlier that year that the models could take to the skies within five years. The company announced a strategic partnership with airplane manufacturer Boeing the following year.

However, by 2020, Kittyhawk announced plans to shut down its Flyer program and shifted focus to its electric aircraft called Heaviside, according to reports.

Today’s announcement will not affect the partnership with Boeing, a spokesperson told CNBC.

“Kitty Hawk’s decision to cease operations does not change Boeing’s commitment to Wisk. We are proud to be a founding member of Wisk Aero and are excited to see the work they are doing to drive innovation and sustainability through the future of electric air travel. We do not expect Kitty Hawk’s announcement to affect Wisk’s operations or other activities in any way.”

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