Bloomberg has an interesting feature on Google co-founder Larry Page and his involvement in two separate start-ups that are working towards the development of flying cars.
Zee.Aero, which was founded in 2010 and has been backed with $100 million in funding from Page, became an online sensation three years when it filed patents for a battery-powered plane that would be capable of taking off and landing vertically. The company now has over 150 employees based in a 30,000 square foot facility next to Google in Mountain View, California. The firm also maintains a manufacturing facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center campus and tests its prototypes at a hangar located 70 miles from its headquarters.
Beginning in 2015, Page also started funding Kitty Hawk, a firm comprised of former Zee.Aero staff members that are working on a competing design that is described as “something that resembles a giant version of a quadcopter drone.”
Both Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk have operated with a high degree of secrecy, with Page once vowing that he would pull his support from the companies if his involvement became public.
While it remains to be seen if either of Page’s initiatives will overcome a challenging number of technological, regulatory and safety hurdles to produce a flying car, industry peers are optimistic. To Mark Moore, an aeronautical engineer at NASA, “what appears in the next 5 to 10 years will be incredible.”