The future is now, especially when companies like Audi and Airbus are teaming up to conceptualise and develop flying cars. Meet the “Pop.Up Next”. It’s an Audi-badged Italdesign-penned collaboration with Airbus to create a flying taxi.
Unbelievably, a prototype has been flying and driving at Amsterdam Drone Week.
What is the Audi Pop.Up Next?
It’s not a flying car in the traditional sense. There aren’t downward-pointing jets to be found where the wheels should be. Wings don’t pop out the side.
Instead, the ‘ground module’ combined with the ‘passenger capsule’ makes for a much more conventional car, albeit one that’s autonomous and electric.
When it’s time to take off, a drone comes and relieves the ground module of the capsule and carries it away.
At Amsterdam Drone Week, a quarter-scale model of the vehicle has been demonstrating the possibilities with both flights and driving. Audi reckons we could be roaming skies as well as the roads autonomously and seamlessly within the next decade. All via an on-demand service to get where we need to go.
It’s so serious about the idea, a philosophical mule of sorts has been running testing in South America. The theory is being tested in the form of a helicopter service in combination with an Audi taxi at both ends of the journey.
“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” said Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign.
“If we succeed in making a smart allocation of traffic between roads and airspace, people and cities can benefit in equal measure.”
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