One of the world’s first flying taxi systems unveiled in Amsterdam
One of the world’s first flying taxi systems has been unveiled to the public in Amsterdam. Audi, Airbus and Italdesign’s ‘Pop.Up Next’ prototype – which combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone – was presented at Amsterdam Drone Week. The test saw a 1:4-scale flight module deliver a passenger capsule safely onto a waiting ground module before it drove from the test grounds autonomously. The innovation was created by Audi, Italian creative consultancy and Audi subsidiary Italdesign and the European aerospace business Airbus. After the test, Audi claimed that people could be regularly using this ground-breaking flying taxi service in large cities within the next decade.
The taxis of the future
“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” says Dr Bernd Martens, Audi board member and president of Italdesign. “More and more people are moving to cities, and more and more people will be mobile thanks to automation. In the future senior citizens, children and people without a driver’s license will want to use convenient robot taxis. With Pop.Up Next we are exploring the boundaries of what is possible. The next step is for a full-size prototype to fly and drive.”
Amsterdam: a hub for smart mobility innovations and events
As a world leader in smart mobility and logistics, Amsterdam is an apt venue for the unveiling of Audi’s new system. The city set out a new vision for smart mobility this year, which aims to connect smart solutions encompassing everything that moves, including bicycles and public transport, commuters, tourists and concertgoers. Amsterdam is also hosting a study aiming to develop the world’s first fleet of self-driving boats for the City of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Drone Week was another successful event in the city’s bustling convention calendar. This year alone, Amsterdam has hosted hundreds of world-class congresses, conventions, events and trade fairs, including TNW, IBC and TEDxAmsterdam’s recent 10-year anniversary event.