Google co-founder Larry Page has high hopes for the future of personal vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, better know as flying cars.
The Verge has discovered that Page is involved in a flying car company dubbed Opener, former in Canada. Page is also behind Kitty Hawk, a company that’s developed a two-seater flying taxi and a flying boat dubbed Flyer. Some suggest Page may be trying to corner the market before it explodes in popularity.
Although Page has never spoken publicly about his involvement with flying cars, he founded a company dubbed Levt Inc in 2010 with Stanford aeronautics professor Ilan Kroo. Levt changed its name to Zee.Aero in 2011 and was initially focusing on creating an electric flying taxi.
Page is getting involved with the industry is still in its infancy.
In 2014, Page acquired Opener when the company was still known as SkyKar. Opener founder Markus Leng came up with his flying car concept in 2009 and took to the air in a concept at his home in a prototype back in 2011.
In order to stay under the radar, Page acquired Opener using a Canadian shell company in a deal reportedly worth over $10 million. The company was then relocated to Palo Alto. Business filings from February 2018 reveal that Opener was operating out of the same address where Kitty Hawk was first incorporated. Page then convinced Sebastian Thrun, the man who led Google’s street mapping and self-driving car projects, to head up both Zee.Aero and Opener.
Thanks to Page’s involvement, both Kitty Hawk and Zee are said to have worked closely on their respective aircraft with staff moving freely between them. However, Opener “elected to not participate in the Kitty Hawk venture,” a spokesperson said, and has instead been going it alone.
Are you excited by the prospect of flying taxis or think they’ll never see the light of day?