Audi, Airbus and Italdesign have just completed the first public test of the Flying Taxi concept that they are developing together. The first test was demonstrated at Drone Week in Amsterdam.
The flying taxi combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone. For the first public test, a 1:4 scale model was used and the flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously.
“Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” says Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi board member for sourcing and IT, and president of the Audi subsidiary Italdesign. “More and more people are moving to cities. And more and more people will be mobile thanks to automation. In future senior citizens, children, and people without a driver’s license will want to use convenient robot taxis. If we succeed in making a smart allocation of traffic between roads and airspace, people and cities can benefit in equal measure.”
To test its on demand service, Audi is conducting tests in South America with the Airbus subsidiary Voom. Customers can simply book helicopter flights in Mexico City or Sao Paulo, and an Audi is there to take them to or from the landing site. Audi is also supporting the Urban Air Mobility flying taxi project in Ingolstadt, which is preparing test operations for a flying taxi at Audi’s site.