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 in Amsterdam. The “Pop.Up Next” all-electric flying taxi – a joint project of Audi, Airbus and Italdesign – enters a new phase of tests and demonstrations of 1:4 scale model. This special modular concept utilizes a passenger capsule that can be attached to a driving platform or drone. The prototype was recently shown at Drone Week where for the first time, it was flying and driving on its own. Partners are also trying to figure out the business cases for the on-demand service through conducting tests in South America in cooperation with the Airbus subsidiary Voom. Currently, customers can book helicopter flights in Mexico City or Sao Paulo, while an Audi is at the ready for the journey to or from the landing site. The next step is to be a full-size prototype that can drive and fly with passengers. Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary 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.”