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Airbus Reveals Blueprint of its Pop.Up Flying Car

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【Summary】Flying vehicles might be approaching to us in an even faster speed. After PAL-V’s Liberty and Zee Aero’s frequent testing, Airbus has new moves as well. It recently unveiled its design of a hybrid flying drone called Pop.Up, to awe the public.

Original Claire    Mar 12, 2017 11:35 AM PT
Airbus Reveals Blueprint of its Pop.Up Flying Car

Flying vehicles might be approaching to us in an even faster speed. After PAL-V's Liberty and Zee Aero's frequent testing, Airbus has new moves as well. It recently unveiled its design of a hybrid flying drone called Pop.Up, to awe the public.

The futuristic design was debuted at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, in collaboration with Italdesign, an Italian company best known for its automobile and engineering design. Boasting of the first modular, fully electric and zero emission concept vehicle system, Pop.Up is planned to make full use of both ground and airspace to ease the increasingly congested traffic in metropolitan cities.

"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." Said Italdesign CEO Jörg Astalosch, in its company press release.  

Unlike the recent ready-for-order PAL-V flying car that has three wheels and retractable aircraft features, the Pop.Up is formed as a two-seat passenger capsule measuring 2.6 meters long, 1.4 meters high and 1.5 meters wide. It's made of carbon-fiber and can be attached to a giant quadcopter or a ground four-wheel module. The flying function will lift the capsule into the air; and when it needs to run on the ground, the cocoon can connect to the four-wheeler and transform into a smart car. Moreover, as claimed by Italdesign, the capsule can also be integrated into other means of transportation, such as trains or even hyperloops.

The Pop.Up is designed to be summoned by passengers like an Uber taxi through an app. The whole idea of the flying vehicle is to be controlled by an artificial intelligence platform that will help manage the trips and offer multiple optimized travel choices to match passengers' preferences.

Another feature worth mentioning is the machine's vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) ability, meaning the flying car doesn't need a long glider site to rise itself in the sky. Compared with PAL-V's Liberty, which is a gyroplane that requires a space of at least 90-200x200 meters to take off, Pop.Up will definitely be more convenient in solving short-range traffic jam in megacities.

Last year, Airbus released its plan to build a flying taxi called Vahana by 2020 under its Silicon Valley subsidiary A³(A-Cubed), and announced this mid-January that it looks to test the prototype by the end of 2017. The global airplane leader is definitely daring for more in the flying vehicle field, and hopefully we won't wait for long to see the future car coming on the market. 

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