As we’ve mentioned many times, very few of us will accept the future is here until we see some fully-functioning personal flying vehicles. Well, Airbus have just thrown their hat into the mix at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show by unveiling the Pop.Up concept; a multimodal passenger transport that makes full use of the urban transportation space.
Dubbed simply ‘Pop.Up’, the flying vehicle concept comes in modular form with both air and ground taken into account. As such, the vehicle consists of three main components: a carbon-fibre passenger capsule, a battery-powered ground module, and finally an air module electrically propelled by eight counter-rotating rotors.
In Pop.Up concept was developed alongside Italdesign, an Italian service company providing design, engineering and production for the transportation industry. The theory behind the three modules is that by covering all bases, the Pop.Up can adapt to any transportation need in what Airbus are calling ‘the megacities’.
The Pop.Up works by passengers routing their journey via an app. The system automatically suggests the best mode of transport according to trip’s specifics and the passengers’ preferences. When the roads are clear, the Pop.Up essentially works as a car by simply attaching to the ground module.
But when roads are congested, the capsule disconnects from the ground module and is carried by the air module, becoming a self-piloted urban air vehicle that avoids roads altogether. Once passengers reach their final destination, all of Pop.Up’s components autonomously return to a dedicated charging station where they await their next customers.
It’s an incredibly ambitious concept but you can see the logic behind the concept. Urbanisation is one of the world’s steadiest trends and with traffic congestion projected to cost $350 billion a year in the EU and the US by 2030. The Pop.Up would certainly go some way to solving the issue if used en masse.
As is the way with pretty much all concepts, however, there’s no plans to put Airbus’ plans in motion. But if you want to read more about the Pop.Up flying vehicle concept, head over to the Airbus Website.