The PopUp.Next is designed by Italdesign, and is under development in collaboration with Airbus and Audi. Audi is responsible for designing the ground maneuvering system and Airbus is designing the electric-powered lifting module and detachable pod of the aircraft.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Roadable VTOL
Range: 31 miles (without payload)
Top Speed: 93 mph
Propeller Configuration: 8 propellers (4 + 4)
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 2 Passengers
Autonomy Level: Autonomous/remote pilot
Dimensions: 14.5 ft L x 2.75 ft H x 16.5 ft W (self-flying air module)
Battery: 70 kWh
Charge Time: 15 minutes
From the Italdesign website:
Pop.Up Next reflects the philosophy driving Italdesign’s 50th anniversary celebrations, anticipating the challenges that the next fifty years will bring. It represents a vision of the potential offered by future technologies, the new concept of transportation and the new solutions for resolving the problems linked to city planning and traffic in large urban centres that are increasingly becoming one of the priority aspects for safeguarding our planet. Next is evidence of the success achieved by Pop.Up over the past year amongst the main players in the transportation world, the municipalities and institutions worldwide.
As the 2017 original project, the Pop.Up Next system aims to give time back to commuters, freeing them from the need to drive, through a flexible, shared and adaptable new way of moving within cities introducing a new user-focused transportation system concept.
Pop.Up combines the flexibility of a small two seater ground vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air vehicle, thus bridging the automotive and aerospace domains. The core of the product is therefore the Intermodality and making it modular.
Our Take on the Pop.Up Next
The Pop.Up Next had significant momentum prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and had been authorized to be tested in Ingolstadt, Germany (read TransportUP's coverage of the approval here). However, a large amount of coordination between companies must occur if a prototype is to be delivered on schedule, on budget, safely.
Airbus is strongly committed to the future development of Urban Air Mobility, and is wisely leveraging expertise among various transportation sectors. Italdesign will drive this project further in the future, thus confirming more and more its new function as a hub and an incubator for ideas and innovative services for mobility. The PopUp.Next was originally scheduled to take flight in 2020, but plans have seemingly been delayed with no published date for a revised first flight demonstration.