Pop.Up Next combines electric, autonomous, flying and sharing
The “Pop.Up Next” all-electric flying taxi – a joint project of Audi, Airbus and Italdesign – enters a new phase of tests and demonstrations of 1:4 scale model. This special modular concept utilizes a passenger capsule that can be attached to a driving platform or drone.
The prototype was recently shown at the Amsterdam Drone Week where for the first time, it was flying and driving on its own.
“This innovative concept for a flying taxi combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone. In the first public test flight, the flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This is still a 1:4 scale model. But as soon as the coming decade, Audi customers could use a convenient and efficient flying taxi service in large cities – in multi-modal operation, in the air and on the road. Without changing vehicles, passengers will enjoy their leisure time, relax, or work.”
Partners are also trying to figure out the business cases for the on-demand service through conducting tests in South America in cooperation with the Airbus subsidiary Voom. Currently, customers can book helicopter flights in Mexico City or Sao Paulo, while an Audi is at the ready for the journey to or from the landing site.
The next step is to be a full-size prototype that can drive and fly with passengers.
“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that. 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.”
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