Not content with making Android Auto and autonomous cars, Google co-founder Larry Page is funding two startups dedicated to building flying cars.
The strong interest of Silicon Valley in the automotive sphere has been at the forefront of the news lately, with the likes of Google, Apple, Uber and, of course, Tesla all pushing to disrupt traditional car business as we know it.
In the case of Google, Bloomberg has discovered that Page’s startups have been working on more than just grounded cars…
Lunched in 2010 and located in Mountain View, California, right next to Google headquarters, the first of the two companies, Zee.Aero, was so secretive that it ignored all media inquiries and even hid Page’s involvement by referring to him as simply GUS, short for the ‘Guy Up Stairs’. He has apparently invested $100 million into the company, which has around 150 employees.
The second company — Kitty Hawk — was established in late 2015 and is researching and developing a competing design described as a large camera drone.
It will be a while before we see a production-ready flying car from either of Page’s companies, but the technological feasibility of flying cars, even autonomous ones, is no longer the pipe dream it once was.
In fact, NASA advanced aircraft engineer Mark Moore told Bloomberg that “self-flying aircraft is so much easier than what the auto companies are trying to do with self-driving cars,” largely thanks to a lack of obstacles such as road signs, lane markings, and pedestrians.
It would be interesting to see what Larry Page’s secret projects end up creating.