Both sides have clear incentives to forge an alliance . Kitty Hawk has already shown promise with Cora (above), an autonomous electric taxi prototype that's already in testing in New Zealand. However, it's still a relatively small outfit. Even with former Google exec Sebastian Thrun at the helm and the backing of Google's Larry Page, it doesn't have nearly as many resources as industry veterans. Boeing's help could both give it a safety net and ensure that any finished air taxis reach large customers.
As for Boeing? Simply put, this could help it maintain a competitive edge against Airbus and other rivals. While the aircraft maker already has an autonomous electric taxi prototype, that doesn't mean it's completely comfortable with its progress to date. This could help it catch up or pull ahead in areas where it's currently weak. Whatever the exact reasons, you might sit in an airborne taxi sooner than you think -- once the infrastructure is in place, that is.