Well, this is a wild one. Drone Week has been appropriately held in Amsterdam if the following concept is anything to go by. Audi, Airbus and engineering company Italdesign have come up with this. A flying taxi prototype called “Pop.Up Next”.
The concept is based on a self-driving electric car plus a passenger drone. During its first public test flight the scale 1:4 model was able to place a passenger capsule onto the ground module.
The plan is for Audi customers to be able to move around in large cities, via air and road.
Dr Bernd Martens and Audi board member and president of Italdesign said, ”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 conducting a more conventional test in South America with Airbus subsidiary Voom. People are able to book helicopter flights in Mexico City or Sao Paulo, while an Audi sits at the other end waiting for them. ”Services like this help us to understand our customers’ needs better. Because in the future, flying taxis will appeal to a wide range of city dwellers. With Pop.Up Next we are simultaneously exploring the boundaries of what is technically possible. The next step is for a full-size prototype to fly and drive,” said Dr Martens.
I’m not sure if I can take all this seriously, but dollars are being spent that’s for sure. However the scale model display did remind me of this clip from Zoolander.
Copyright Paramount Pictures 2001