Audi Ties Up with Airbus to Showcase the Future of Transportation at Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva Auto Show never fails to showcase a number of surprises every year. At this year’s edition, which ran from March 8 to March 11, Airbus and Italian design house Italdesign collaborated to launch a mobility concept called Pop.Up that drives and flies. Just recently, Audi has joined to contribute its expertise in the fields of automation and battery technology. Together at the show, the team has unveiled an updated prototype called Pop.Up Next.

This revolutionary prototype is made up of two main parts. The first is called ground module, a futuristic-looking city car with space for two passengers. It is almost as long as a smart fortwo but weighs only 200 kilograms. According to Airbus, it managed to make the Next lighter than the original Pop.Up by redesigning the seats and utilizing lightweight materials such as titanium and aluminum.

The car is powered by an electric motor that gets electricity from a 15kWh battery pack to offer up to 129-kilometer range. Moreover, the engineers have kept the battery pack’s size down to make it as light as possible. Setting this car apart from others is that its battery can take a full charge in just 15 minutes.

When it comes to speed, the Pop.Up can reach 60 mph. It is packed with avant-garde autonomous technology so occupants can sit and relax comfortably in the journey.

Featuring a drone-like air module, it becomes a cutting-edge vehicle. It comes with eight motor-driven propellers grouped into four clusters that enable the air module to pick up the ground module and take off like a helicopter. There are also sensors that enable the two parts align automatically, a central safety module and three coupling points. Plus, there are self-rotating hooks that ensure the air module will keep the car intact before it glides off into the horizon.

In the cabin, two passengers can sit side by side and enjoy the view below through a large windshield and transparent doors. Moreover, there is a 49-inch screen that gives information about the entertainment options, flight, and connectivity functions. The Pop.Up leaves no room for boring drives as the infotainment system interacts with facial-recognition and eye-tracking technology.

According to Bernd Martens, Audi’s board member for procurement and the president of Italdesign, Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently alter urban life in the future. The prototype can bring a revolution to the way people commute, but Audi points out that it is a vision that can only come to fruition in the distant future. Reports say that talks are now underway to discover the things involved in making a machine just like the Pop.Up Next street-legal in the leading markets worldwide.



  • March 19, 2018
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