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12/4/2018

Audi, Airbus and Italdesign test flying taxi prototype

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Audi, Airbus and Italdesign Pop.Up Next model flies and drives at Amsterdam Drone Week.

Audi (Ingolstadt, Germany), Airbus (Toulouse, France) and Italdesign (Moncalieri, Italy) debuted a flying and driving 1:4 scale prototype of its Pop.Up Next flying taxi concept at Drone Week (Dec. 2-6) in Amsterdam. 

The flying taxi concept 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.

“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” says Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign. “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.” 

“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,” he adds.

Audi is also supporting the Urban Air Mobility flying taxi project, a model for air-taxi test operation in the Ingolstadt region in Germany.

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