Flying cars may not be as far fetched as you may think.
Making its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Italdesign and Airbus have shown off the Pop.Up, the first modular, fully electric, zero-emission concept vehicle system designed to relieve traffic congestion in crowded megacities. The two companies worked together to come up with a modular system for multi-modal transportation, taking advantage of both ground and airspace.
Technically the Pop.Up isn’t so much a flying car than it is a flying pod. The idea is that a vehicle shaped as a passenger capsule can be paired with two different and independent electric-propelled modules – a ground module and an air module. Other public means of transportation could also integrate the Pop.Up capsule, like trains or hyperloops.
The pod is a monocoque carbon fiber cocoon that can transform itself into a city car by simply coupling to the ground module, which features a carbon fiber chassis and is battery powered. It can also take to the air by means of the air module, propelled by eight counter-rotating rotors.
In a perfect world, the air and ground modules would return autonomously to dedicated recharge stations while waiting for their next customers.
While this may all seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, Airbus and Italdesign believe it could be a reality within seven to 10 years. They’re hoping other partnerships could emerge as a result of showing off the concept at Geneva this year.