Audi has teamed up with transport designer Italdesign and aviation manufacturer Airbus to create a flying concept car that is said to be able to solve traffic problems in cities.

The Pop.Up Next concept is a fully autonomous, all-electric pod that doesn’t just work on land, but also in the air. 

It can either be attached to a car or flight module – the latter giving it the ability to rise above traffic below. Audi is supporting the project with its knowledge on battery technology and automation – some of which it is fitted to its A8 saloon already, and will soon appear on the firm’s upcoming E-tron SUV.

The main interior highlight is a huge 49-inch screen, which is operated by speech and facial recognition, and eye-tracking technology.

Cutting travel times seems to be one of the main objectives with this concept, although the German manufacturer does admit that a production version is someway off.

Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member and president of Italdesign, said: “Creativity is needed where new mobility concepts for cities and people’s diverse needs are concerned. Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban lifestyle in the future.”

A first version of the Pop.Up concept was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017, with the latest concept being lighter than the last, as well as having a redesigned interior.

Ted Welford


March 20, 2018