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Boeing to pour $450 million into program for self-driving air taxi

Boeing to pour $450 million into program for self-driving air taxi
Wisk is one of several companies working on an electric vertical takeoff and landing air vehicle, or eVTOL. Photo courtesy Wisk/Twitter

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Aviation company Boeing announced on Monday that it's investing almost a half-billion more dollars into its sky taxi startup Wisk Aero, in a bid to bring the first self-flying air taxi to the market before the start of the 2030s.

Boeing formed Wisk Aero in 2019 with its air vehicle company Kitty Hawk. Monday, the company said it will invest $450 million more in the WIsk Aero venture to develop the vehicles.

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There are a number of other similar companies and air vehicle prototypes in development, but Boeing said its focus with Wisk Aero is to introduce the first autonomous air taxi.

"As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety," Wisk CEO Gary Gysin said in a statement.

Wisk is one of several companies working on an electric vertical takeoff and landing air vehicle, or eVTOL.

The Federal Aviation Administration has not yet certified any eVTOL for commercial operation, and some experts expect it will take a few years to certify that the new aircraft are safe for passengers.

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Last year, Wisk Aero announced a deal with charter company Blade to operate a fleet of 30 autonomous air taxis on its U.S. network.

It's unknown precisely how long it will be before Wisk introduces its autonomous air vehicle, but CNBC reported that the target date is around 2028.

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