Audi Pop.Up Next Flying Car Takes Off for the First Time at Amsterdam Drone Week

A 1:4 scale model of the Pop.Up Next vehicle was put through its paces for the first time at the Amsterdam Drone Week, a demonstration of what this idea of Audi and Airbus can mean for the future of motoring.
Audi Pop.Up Next 9 photos
Photo: Audi
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Presented back in March as a crazy concept, Pop.Up Next comprises an ultra-light, two-seater passenger cabin that can be attached to either a self-driving car module, built by Audi or a self-flying drone, manufactured by Airbus.

For the test in Amsterdam, the flight module “accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously,” says Audi.

While the actual concept is being tested in Europe, including at Audi’s main facility in Ingolstadt, the idea of having people mix air and ground transport to get by in a crowded city more easily is being researched in South America, together with Airbus subsidiary Voom.

There, select customers take helicopter flights in Mexico City, Mexico, or Sao Paulo, Brazil, and when they land they are greeted by a car ready to take them to their final destination.

Audi says a functional service based on the Pop.Up Next concept could be up and running as soon as next decade.

“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” said in a statement Bernd Martens, president of Audi’s subsidiary Italdesign, which helped create the concept.

“If we succeed in making a smart allocation of traffic between roads and airspace, people and cities can benefit in equal measure.”

The Pop.Up Next cabin boasts a TV-like 49-inch screen which relays information back to the passengers. The autonomous system uses speech and face recognition to allow humans to control it.

Additional control can be achieved via eye-tracking technology and touching the screen.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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