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For The First Time, Audi Demonstrates Its All-Electric Flying Car Prototype
By Yoon Sann Wong, 29 Nov 2018
Earlier this month, NASA associate administrator for aeronautics Jaiwon Shin told his audience at a Seattle conference that there was “a revolution coming in aviation.”
Testament to this statement is Audi’s flying car concept ‘Pop.Up Next’, demonstrated as a 1:4 scale model during Amsterdam’s recent ‘Drone Week’ convention.
This flying taxi is brainchild of Audi, its subsidiary Italdesign, and Airbus. The design fuses a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone, giving riders the option to either sit in a four-wheeled electric automobile or attach beneath a quadcopter that takes it airborne, leaving the four-wheeled base behind.
“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” declared Dr Bernd Martens—Audi board member for sourcing and IT, as well as president of Italdesign—in a press statement.
“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,” he added.
Audi is already conducting tests in partnership with Airbus subsidiary Voom for on-demand air taxi services in South America’s Mexico City and São Paulo.
While ‘Pop.Up Next’ remains in its infant stages, Audi is keen to roll out the avant-garde automobile “as soon as the coming decade.” It hopes to revolutionize the way passengers travel, that is, being able to relax or work without having to change vehicles.
It isn’t the only one developing such an idea, however. In September, IKEA announced that it was designing self-driving vehicles that can double into an office, AR gaming experience, farm stand, café and hotel.
As for flying cars, Uber, Boeing, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce are but some of the many names investing into this foray.
Exciting times ahead? You bet. Watch the ‘Pop.Up Next’ demonstration below.
[via GeekWire and Audi MediaCenter, video via Amsterdam Drone Week, images via Audi MediaCenter]
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