News ID: 189341
Published: 1156 GMT March 14, 2017

First glimpse of part-drive, part drone vehicles

First glimpse of part-drive, part drone vehicles

Flying cars are on the horizon after Airbus unveiled plans to create a vehicle which is part self-driving and part drone.

At the Geneva Motor Show, aviation firm Airbus unveiled the Pop.Up made in conjunction with Italian design and engineering company Italdesign, wrote.

The futuristic vehicle is essentially a pod that sits upon a wheeled-platform, and if, for example, the driver gets stuck in traffic, then the upper part can detach from the wheels and release its propellers, allowing it to take off.

Airbus says the concept could help ease traffic congestion in the busiest cities.

The car is designed to be coupled with two different and independent electric propelled modules (the ground module and the air module).

Mathias Thomsen, general manager at Airbus, said: “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 added: “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.

“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.”

When in mid-air, the drone can travel up to speeds of 61 miles per hour.

Once in the air, Airbus say the vehicle will hopefully be able to drive autonomously to meet the person and pod at the destination.

Production of the machines is set to begin in 2021.

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