Autonomous cars may help congestion, but you’d still have to drive on the roads.
Why be stuck in traffic, when you can shed the bonds of the earth and fly through the air? That seems to be the premise for a letter of intent between Audi AG, Airbus and the Bavarian state government. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government also signed onto the deal, pushing to usher in flying cars – more specifically, flying taxis – as the next major milestone in personal transportation. It may seem strange that Germany, home of the Autobahn, refuge of the speed seeker, is looking to the sky to solve their transportation issues. However, with the debut of the Pop.Up flying concept at the Geneva Motor Show, Audi is serious about taking the technology further.
Audi will trial their flying car concept in their hometown of Ingolstadt, under the watchful eye of the German government. According to a Bloomberg report, German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer stated via e-mail, “Flying taxis aren’t a vision any longer, they can take us off into a new dimension of reality…They’re a huge opportunity for companies and young startups to that already develop this technology very concretely and successfully.”
How do flying taxis work?
The Pop.Up concept comprises a quadcopter module for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) ability. Beneath that is a passenger pod that can seat too people, as well as the other components of a normal car. Both would be electric and fully autonomous, requiring no driver – or in some cases, pilot – input. It’s not immediately clear how long the testing will go on or when the first commercial trips may take place.
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