Is driver-less transport the way of the future in New Zealand?

Traditional transport by road, sea and air could be a thing of the past, sooner rather than later. 

Already driver-less vehicles and planes are being tested in New Zealand, and Kiwi businesses are now focusing on how to cash in on the new technology - which is predicted to become a multi-billion dollar industry. 

A driver-less air taxi called Cora is currently being tested at a secret location in Canterbury; it takes off like a helicopter, flies like a plane, doesn't need a pilot and can carry two passengers.  

And this, the Government says, is the future of short trips across town.

Fred Reid of Zephyr Airworks says "Our mission is to provide a dependable, affordable, commercial air taxi service starting in New Zealand, and hopefully forever in New Zealand and other part of the globe in the long run". 

And the technology to do so is right on our doorstep.

Already driver-less buses called Ohmio, able to hold up to 20 people, are being trialed in Christchurch and could be carrying passengers by the middle of the year. 

Ohmio chief executive Stephen Matthews says "it allows us to connect public transport to airports, terminal to terminal, carpark to carpark".

How to cash in on autonomous vehicles is now the multi-billion dollar question being asked in this report released by Business New Zealand.

It's been proven our small country is an ideal testing ground, and it is now a case of how to take advantage of it. 

Ministry of Transport chief executive Peter Mersi says "we're a long long away physically from the rest of the world, but we really are at the cutting edge".

It is now all about convincing the public it's not only safe, but worthwhile.

"I think we will eventually. It will take time, social acceptance - when will we let go of our cars and other types of transport?" Mr Mersi says.

So it's all eyes on New Zealand skies to see if we can be among the first to pull it off.