It was first in 2017 when Airbus and the Italian design firm Italdesign partnered to showcase the future of mobility with the concept name Pop.Up that would not just drive buy also fly. Now, Audi has joined the team to share its expertise in battery technology and automation and in the ongoing 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the team presented an updated prototype named Pop.Up.Next.
Divided into two parts, Pop.Up.Next consists of a ground module which is a futuristic looking city car or a taxi that can accommodate two passengers. It is light in weight at 440 pounds, much lighter than the original Pop.Up. Redesigning the seats and use of aluminum and titanium helped Airbus to reduce the weight drastically.
Pop.Up.Next is powered by an electric motor that gets its charge from a 15 kWh battery pack and claims a range of 80 miles. It takes about 15 minutes for a full charge and has a maximum speed of 60 mph. The Pop.Up.Next comes equipped with state-of-the-art autonomous technology and offers its passengers a comfortable ride.
The vehicle becomes special when it leaves the ground with the help of drone-like air module. Eight motor-driven propellers grouped into various clusters allow the air module to smoothly pick the ground module and take off vertically, similar to a helicopter. Sensors allow the two parts to align automatically. It is joined by three coupling points and a central safety module. A roaring hook ensures the air-module doesn’t drop the module and glides off into the horizon.
Transparent door and a large windshield offer the passengers best view and if that’s not enough then there is also a 49-inch screen that provides infotainment and connectivity options. “Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future,” Bernd Martens, Audi’s board member for procurement and the president of Italdesign.
The technology is nothing short of being called amazing and will indeed change the way world commutes but this becoming a reality is a distant dream but just the fact the concept is showcased and work is being done is exciting to imagine this future taking shape. Pop.Up Next street-legal in key markets around the world.