Larry Page, the 43 year old billionaire co-owner of Google and CEO of Alphabet, the company that owns Google, is at it again. This time, the innovation comes in the automotive industry, as Page is reportedly pouring huge amounts of money into research and development of flying car technology.
According to Bloomberg, flying car firm Zee.Aero, founded in 2010, has seen substantial investment from the search engine billionaire, and is actually privately owned by Page, instead of being a subsidiary of Google or Alphabet. Sources claim that as much as £100 million of Page’s £30 billion fortune has been invested in Zee.Aero. The company has since expanded to a total of 150 employees, and runs daily test with combinations of planes and cars.
Page has also reportedly set up a rival company, Kitty Hawk, and tasked them with achieving the same goal – certainly an interesting motivator. Companies have been trying for decades to produce a flying car, with Ford producing a failed prototype in the 1920’s. However, the area has largely been ignored by the big automotive companies since the 1950’s, as the post war optimism of the atomic age started to dwindle. The closest company to achieving a flying car at present seems to be Chinese company Ehang, which is beginning trials for a somewhat unnervingly titled ‘passenger drone’ later this year.