Audi in conjunction with Airbus, and Italdesign presented a flying drone-car at Amsterdam Drone Week in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The flying and driving prototype of “Pop.Up Next” is a scale model of a flying taxi which 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, Audi noted, 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.”
“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.
“More people are moving to cities. 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.”