Developer consortium demos flying taxi concept

November 27, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At Drone Week in Amsterdam, Audi, Airbus and Italdesign will be showing a flying and moving prototype of the "Pop.Up Next" for the first time. The innovative flying taxi concept combines a self-propelled electric car with a passenger drone.

According to some market watchers, autonomous taxis represent a more realistic technical approach than autonomous ones. In this field there is now a lot of competition - sometimes one company is ahead, sometimes the other. At the moment it seems to be the development group around Italdesign, Audi and Airbus: During the first public test flight, the flight module of this group placed a passenger capsule safely on the vehicle platform. This capsule then drove autonomously from the test site. It is still a 1:4 model. But already in the next decade Audi customers could use a comfortable and efficient air taxi service in large cities - multimodally, in the air and on the road. Passengers can enjoy their leisure time, relax or work without having to change planes.

"Air taxis will come. We at Audi are convinced of this," says Bernd Martens, Audi Board Member for Procurement/IT and President of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign. "More and more people are moving to the cities. And automation will make more and more people mobile. Especially the elderly, children or people without a driver's license will enjoy using comfortable robotic taxis in the future. If we manage to distribute traffic intelligently across the road and airspace, cities and their inhabitants will benefit equally."

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