Could become a game-changing concept if the real-scale model is also successful

While some companies are investing their time and money in autonomous car taxis, Audi has gone one step ahead with flying taxis. Audi, Airbus, and Italdesign have teamed up to present a flying and driving prototype of ’Pop.Up Next’ at the Drone Week in Amsterdam. Pop.Up Next is a basically a flying taxi that combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone. Sounds funky, right?

This Is Fancy

Pop.Up Next was taken for a public test flight, and the module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground. Just to be clear, this was a 1:4 scale model and not the real deal.

But after a successful test flight, we could see this hit the world within a decade.

Audi has invested its resources in this for quite some time now, so we could see Audi operate a convenient and efficient flying taxi service in large cities - in multi-modal operation, in the air, and on the road. In fact, the automaker is already conducting tests in South America in cooperation with Voom – an Airbus subsidiary. Customers 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.

What They Had To Say

Audi's Flying Taxi Takes Off Successfully
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Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign affirms Audi’s faith in this operation. He 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. 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,".

Audi Is Taking This On Aggressively

Audi's Flying Taxi Takes Off Successfully
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Not just this, Audi is also working on the Urban Air Mobility flying taxi project in Bavaria (Ironic, right?), Germany.

The project is a collaboration with European Union in the framework of the marketplace for the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.

It includes preparing test operations for a flying taxi at Audi’s site. This project’s aim is to convince the public of the benefits of the new technology and answer questions surrounding the regulations, battery technology, infrastructure, and certification.

Final Thoughts

Audi's Flying Taxi Takes Off Successfully
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Flying taxis + on-road mobility sounds more like two companies joining hands to collaborate two regular services. However, Pop.Up Next seems exciting, and we are looking forward to seeing how this project shapes up. Let us know your thoughts about this in the comments section below.

Further reading

Airbus Working on Development of Flying Taxi Drone
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Airbus Working on Development of Flying Taxi Drone

First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success
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Vahana, A³ by Airbus

First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success

Aston Martin's Flying Taxi Looks Like Some Sci Fi Air Racer
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Aston Martin’s Flying Taxi Looks Like Some Sci Fi Air Racer

What do you think?
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