The year started with the onslaught of self-driving car concepts at CES 2017 where the likes of Faraday FF91 and Nvidia BB8 made headlines. Recent industry events were dominated by autonomous vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and supercars. This week at Geneva Motor Show, Airbus revealed a flying car concept called Pop.up that will tackle traffic jams in cities by transforming car into a helicopter.
The aircraft manufacturer collaborated with car stylist Italdesign to develop a pure-electric car platform with a fully autonomous quadcopter. Airbus created a stir in Geneva when it showcased a video where it can detach itself from a base when the need arises to take off from the road.
The flying car is part of the partnership between Airbus and Italdesign which aims to bring the pure-electric quadcopter closer within reach of urban commuters. The capsule-like vehicle is connected to a four-wheeled setup for travel on the road. It can turn into a flying taxi if the commuter wishes to avoid traffic congestion.
The potential of Pop.up as a solution to the congested cities is enormous. The modular electric vehicle can travel through air and drive on land. According to Airbus and Italdesign, the car can accommodate two passengers and is capable of vertical take-off and landing. They want to posit the flying car as a taxi service.
So how does the vehicle will provide transport to future commuters? There is a mobile app that they need to use to enter their journey details including the time of the day they want to travel. Several factors will determine the mode of transport including time, cost, and traffic. If the situation calls for an air journey, the capsule can use the propeller and fly in a self-pilot mode.
Airbus did not provide a time frame for when the Pop.up will dot the skies. The company insists that the flying car is only for commercial transportation and not for joyride ala Star Wars.