March 8, 2017
Geneva Motor Show – Airbus reveals flying car 0
In the high-tech world, drones are already all the rage, but if traditional aircraft manufacturers Airbus have their way, in not too much time, we’ll all be travelling in our own personal aerial transport vehicles.
In Switzerland, at the Geneva Motor Show, the ‘Pop.Up’ was shown off to the world by the aspiring ‘car-viators’. It’s a modular, fully electric, zero emission concept vehicle system designed to relieve congestion in major cities.
Its multi-module design will allow its users to either travel via land or air.
“I think it will be incredible,” says Mathias Thomsen from Airbus.
“You’re in your capsule, you don’t have to go in and out, it’s integrated, it’s seamless, it will be the most pleasant way of getting around town, getting to the airport. I think it will be irresistibly nice.”
Despite sounding like the stuff of science-fiction, Thomsen also said that the company are on course to start implementing the tech within the next decade.
One of the major obstructions will be the infrastructure, as opposed to the tech which is already possible. Passing legislation to allow autonomous vehicles to travel over cities will be no small task until safety concerns are fully laid to rest.
“It’s not so much the infrastructure, but it needs to be there and city planning, urban planning, it takes a bit of time,” says Thomsen.
“So we actually see a good timeline for the technology maturation and the regulatory environments to work together within the next five to ten years.”
Pop.Up will use an AI system that builds its user knowledge with time and learns the ability to offer alternative travel options.
“It’s operated by a platform, we’re thinking request via your app or other devices,’ explains Thomsen.
“We have wearable technology which identifies you when you get in. “You have a big display that tells you what’s going on, you get access to your own content, you can enjoy your space and take back time while you travel.”
Thomsen says as various industries move towards autonomy and connectivity, collaborations like this between the automotive and aviation industries will become more common.
“The four main technology areas that we are looking at right now at Airbus is connectivity, it’s electrification, it’s autonomy and it’s how we can create new mobility solutions,” he says.
“And when we start thinking about that and realize that here at the automotive world it’s the same themes. That’s why we can see synergy in coming together and joining forces.”
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