The vehicle concept 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.
The modular platform consists of a capsule that connects to either a ground or air module, and can be integrated into other means of transportation.
The monocoque carbon-fiber cell measures 2.6 meters in length, 1.4 meters in heights, and 1.5 meters in width. The capsule transforms itself into a city car by simply coupling to a ground module, which features a carbon-fibre chassis and is battery powered.
For megacity journeys with high congested traffic, the capsule disconnects from the ground module and is carried by a 5 by 4.4 meter air module propelled by eight counter-rotating rotors. In this configuration, Pop.Up becomes a urban self-piloted air vehicle, taking advantage of the third dimension for avoiding traffic congestion on the ground.
Once passengers reach their destination, the air and ground modules with the capsule autonomously return to dedicated recharge stations to wait for their next customers.
The Pop.Up System also includes an Artificial Intelligence platform that, based on its user knowledge, manages the travel complexity offering alternative usage scenarios, as well as an interface module that dialogues with users in a fully virtual environment.
Thanks to the possibility of combining the capsule with other means of public transportation, the Pop.Up aims at offering a seamless travel experience: the user can stay for the entire journey in the same capsule without worrying about switching between different travel modes and enjoy the entire commute time, with real time interaction between the capsule and the surrounding urban environment and communities.
“Italdesign is a service company, created to provide services and mobility solutions to interested parties worldwide. It is deeply rooted in our DNA to search for future state-of-the-art solutions,” said Italdesign CEO Jörg Astalosch.
“Today, automobiles are part of a much wider eco-system: if you want to design the urban vehicle of the future, the traditional car cannot alone be the solution for megacities, you also have to think about sustainable and intelligent infrastructure, apps, integration, power systems, urban planning, social aspects, and so on. In the next years ground transportation will move to the next level and from being shared, connected and autonomous it will also go multimodal and moving into the third dimension”
Airbus and flying cars
The video below is a presentation given at the 2016 World.Minds Annual Symposium by Mathias Thomsen, Mathias Thomsen, General Manager, Airbus Urban Air Mobility on Urban Air Mobility.