Airbus Unveils Modular Flying Car System
Ashley Allen / 1 week ago
Airbus has debuted a new modular flying car system at the Geneva Motor Show 2017. The concept, dubbed Pop.Up, is effectively a giant quadcopter – designed in partnership with Italdesign – which can be coupled with a number of different, specially designed commercial transportation driving capsules to turn them into airborne vehicles.
“Adding the third dimension to seamless multi-modal transportation networks will without a doubt improve the way we live and how we get from A to B,” Mathias Thomsen, General Manager for Urban Air Mobility at Airbus, said at the unveiling [PDF].
Pop.Up, according to Airbus, is a three-layered concept which involves:
- An Artificial Intelligence platform that, based on its user knowledge, manages the travel complexity offering alternative usage scenarios and assuring a seamless travel experience;
- A vehicle shaped as a passenger capsule designed to be coupled with two different and independent electric propelled modules (the ground module and the air module). Other public means of transportation (e.g. trains or hyperloops) could also integrate the Pop.Up capsule;
- An interface module that dialogues with users in a fully virtual environment.
“Successfully designing and implementing solutions that will work both in the air and on the ground requires a joint reflection on the part of both aerospace and automotive sectors, alongside collaboration with local government bodies for infrastructure and regulatory frameworks,” Italdesign CEO Jörg Astalosch said. “Italdesign, with its long track record of exceptional vehicle design was an exciting partner for Airbus for this unique concept project.”
“Today, automobiles are part of a much wider eco-system: if you want to design the urban vehicle of the future, the traditional car cannot alone be the solution for megacities, you also have to think about sustainable and intelligent infrastructure, apps, integration, power systems, urban planning, social aspects, and so on,” Astalosch added. “In the next years ground transportation will move to the next level and from being shared, connected and autonomous it will also go multimodal and moving into the third dimension.”
Airbus has yet not revealed when it expects Pop.Up to become a reality.