Audi and Airbus took a big step forward yesterday by signing a letter of intent with the government to test their Air Taxi project near the city of Ingolstadt. The letter of intent was signed by both companies in addition to the local government, firming up local political support to advance the Air Taxi project that has two industry magnates collaborating to produce a new product.
German Transport Minister Andreas Scheur stated:”Flying taxis aren’t a vision any longer, they can take us off into a new dimension of mobility. They’re a huge opportunity for companies and young startups that already develop this technology very concretely and successfully.”
Among benefits for the partnership were boosted technological activity in Germany and the long goal of traffic alleviation country-wide.
Audi and Airbus’ concept is called the Pop.Up Next, designed by Italian firm Italdesign – and is a modular eVTOL that has a detachable “base” made by Audi that serves as the car portion of the vehicle, driving it around autonomously after the Pop.Up component, manufactured by Airbus, lands on the base. The Pop.Up is a quad-rotor aircraft that Airbus is working on, in addition to their other eVTOL project, the A^3 Ventures Vahana.
Why it’s important: The Audi and Airbus partnership is further strengthened by the local government of Ingolstadt, and increasingly the tide is turning in favor of positive regulator and government relations with eVTOL manufacturers. This relationship is critical to the success of the flying car and taxi industry, as no product will ever become commercially viable without some level of support from regulators and political officials. In Germany, that’s happening already.
- Image // AutoEvolution