Reports suggest that Audi, Italdesign and Airbus are all working together on a hybrid electric flying taxi concept and are beginning to test the vehicle now. Records confirm that this concept was first unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year by Audi and Airbus.
Citing reliable sources, the companies now have a more polished operational prototype and though it is only a 1:4 scale model, it was seen driving and flying at the Amsterdam Drone Week. The all-electric flying taxi consists of an electric vehicle platform that would be able to accommodate a passenger pod.
The electric car platform has the ability to drive on the roads and park itself below a drone frame, sources mentioned. The frame can then receive the passenger pod, transforming it into a passenger drone.
Dr. Bernd Martens, President of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign, and board member of Audi for sourcing and IT, is convinced that this concept has the potential of becoming a real product. He said that the company believes this concept will come to life and flying taxis are on the way. A huge number of people are moving to cities and owing to automation, and more and more people will become mobile.
Dr. Bernd further said that in the future, children, senior citizens and people who do not have a driving license would want to use the convenience of robot taxis. If the company succeeds in allocating the traffic between airspace and roads in a smart way, then people and cities would be benefited in equal measure, he added.
The German automaker stated that it is collaborating with Airbus, in the meantime, for testing on-demand service with helicopters in South America and gain better understanding of the operations. it believes that this experience would be useful while deploying the flying taxis.