Is it a car or is it a plane? Actually it’s both. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show from 8 to 18 March, Audi, Italdesign and Airbus will present Pop.Up Next, an entirely electric, fully automatic concept for what they describe as both ‘horizontal and vertical mobility’.
The ultra-lightweight, two-seater passenger cabin can be attached either to a self driving car module or alternatively to a flight module, like a giant drone. Car manufacturer Audi is providing battery technology and automation while plane manufacturer Airbus will obviously provide flight knowhow.
The idea is that this full autonomous vehicle could transport people in cities quickly and conveniently on the road and in the air, at the same time as solving traffic problems.
The dominant interior feature is a 49-inch screen, while interaction between humans and the machine is performed by speech and face recognition, eye-tracking and a touch function.
Says Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi Board Member for Procurement and President of Italdesign.
“Creativity is needed where new mobility concepts for cities and people’s diverse needs are concerned. Italdesign is an incubator for innovative technologies and radical prototyping. Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future.”
Italdesign already develops future-oriented vehicle concepts for Audi and customers around the globe.
Adds Jörg Astalosch, CEO of Italdesign:
“Various players will define the rules of urban mobility in the future. We are proud to collaborate with Airbus, the leading company in the aerospace industry, to investigate solutions for future mobility.”
Astalosch sees Pop.Up Next as a flexible on-demand concept that could open up mobility in the third dimension to people in cities. Italdesign is making use of a network of cities, universities and various stakeholders in order to anticipate the future of mobility in cities.
A first version of Pop.Up had its premiere at the Geneva Autosalon a year ago. However, Pop.Up Next is significantly lighter than its predecessor, and the interior has been redesigned.