an all-electric flying car concept created by audi, airbus and italdesign is now being tested. a 1:4 scale prototype of ‘pop.up next’, a hybrid vehicle that blends a self-driving car and passenger drone, was shown at drone week in amsterdam on tuesday. the concept was first unveiled earlier this year at the geneva auto show.

 

 

the design is is made up of three separate modules – a two-seat capsule for passengers and a four-rotor drone, put together through a detachable pod. the drone autonomously flies the pod to a location, placing it on an electric vehicle frame. the first public test flight saw the flight module accurately place a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. 

 

 

flying taxis are on the way. we at audi are convinced of that,’ says dr. bernd martens, president of the audi subsidiary italdesign.more and more people are moving to cities. and more and more people will be mobile thanks to automation. in future senior citizens, children, and people without a driver’s license will want to use convenient robot taxis. if we succeed in making a smart allocation of traffic between roads and airspace, people and cities can benefit in equal measure.

 

video by YOUCAR

 

 

flying taxi services in large cities that use a multi-modal operation including, in the air and on the road, could become a reality as soon as the next decade according to audi. the luxury carmaker is conducting tests of this project in south america in cooperation with the airbus subsidiary voom. the company is also supporting the urban air mobility flying taxi project in ingolstadt that is preparing test operations for a flying taxi at audi’s site.

 

 

this initiative is preparing test operations for a flying taxi at audi’s site, and is part of a joint project of the european union in the framework of the marketplace for the european innovation partnership on smart cities and communities. the project aims to convince the public of the benefits of the new technology and answer questions concerning battery technology, regulation, certification, and infrastructure. 

 

 

in the future, flying taxis will appeal to a wide range of city dwellers‘, martens continues.with pop.up next we are simultaneously exploring the boundaries of what is technically possible. the next step is for a full-size prototype to fly and drive,’ said dr. martens.’

 

 

the amsterdam convention tackled various issues regarding drones including airspace safety and flight regulations. meanwhile, dutch company PAL-V has developed its own flying car, a three-wheeled, two-seat car which hovers up above the ground using a wind-powered rotor that sources the principles of gyroplanes, in order to provide a safe and easy take-off.

 

project info

 

manufacturers: audi, airbus and italdesign

name: pop.up next

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