Audi, Airbus and Italdesign have created and tested their flying and driving prototype called “Pop.Up Next.” This concept vehicle is a seriously innovative flying taxis that consists of an autonomous electric car and a passenger drone. Here’s how it works: the flight module (drone) carries the passenger module to the ground module (electric car), and placed the passenger module in the ground module. When combined, the passenger and ground module create an autonomous electric car that can take them to their destination. Through this process, passengers can get from point A to point B through the sky and across the ground without ever leaving their vehicle. Not bad.
At Drone Week in Amsterdam, Pop.Up Next was tested successfully. Granted, it was a 1:4 scale model that was tested. That being said, it still very promising that they have a working concept of their innovative flying taxi that could possibly change the way we travel forever.
Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign, had this to say about flying taxis: “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.”
Audi is also testing an new on-demand service in Mexico City and Sao Paulo, thanks to Airbus subsidiary Voom, that consists of helicopter flights and an awaiting Audi on the ground. This will allow them to see how an air-to-ground taxi service would work in the real world.
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