Audi puts Pop.Up flying air taxi concept on hold for now

When I was a kid, my friends and I knew that when we were adults there would be flying cars hovering above the ground. It was thought to be a certainty among us twelve year-olds at the time. While come car companies like Audi have entertained the idea of making cars fly, we now know it’s virtual impossible.


Last year, Audi admittedly made some waves by teaming up with Airbus and Italdesign to develop a flying car concept that actually seemed like the best flying car concept yet. It was called Pop.Up and it was a fascinating look at the idea of a flying car.


Essentially, the idea was to created passenger pods that could be connected to different modules. The normal module would be for driving on the road and would essentially be an electric skateboard that the passenger pod connected to the top of. Then, when you wanted to fly, you could drive that over to a certain station and have the passenger pod disconnect from the driving module and connect to an electric and autonomous flying module and then take off.


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It actually seemed like a great idea and would help reduce traffic, as cars could become autonomous/electric air taxis. However, while the idea seemed very intriguing, Audi has decided to put the project on hold for now.


According to Automotive News Europe, Audi has postponed the project due to the fact that it’s simply unrealistic for the foreseeable future.


“At present we are working on a new direction for our urban air mobility activities and have not yet made a decision regarding potential future products,” said Audi in a statement to ANE.


Certain challenges have made Audi rethink the viability of such a project and the four-ringed brand has decided not to waste anymore time and/or money on it. While that’s a bit disappointing to my inner child, it’s completely understandable.


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“We believe it will be a very long time before an air taxi can be serially produced that does not require passengers to change vehicles. In the modular concept of Pop.Up, we were working on a solution with the highest complexity,” said Audi’s statement.


We hope Audi picks this project back up in the near future because it’s a very interesting idea, even if it’s just for air taxis that run from certain specified points to another. The idea of autonomous air taxis freeing up space on the ground and in water, as they could also replace water ferries, is a good one. Plus, having fleets of these air taxis that EV owners could access with their own cars at their own leisure would be fantastic. For now, though, it’s nothing but a pipedream.


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[Source: Automotive News Europe]
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.