Pop.Up: How Cool Is the Airbus Urban Mobility Concept Vehicle?

Geneva, Switzerland, March 7 — Airbus and Italdesign are reimagining how we will move around increasingly congested cities in the future. They showed their “Pop.Up” concept vehicle at the Geneva International Motor Show first, only a few days ago.

What is the “Pop.Up”?

Part car, part helicopter, the self-driving vehicle concept can be rented using an app. It will self-drive to your door, or pick you up from the hotel or airport. For longer journeys, it can be docked to a quadcopter and take you rapidly to your destination, or it can roll into a Hyperloop or Eurostar style wagon and travel great distances, whatever is more efficient.

For longer journeys, it can be docked to a quadcopter and take you rapidly to your destination, or it can roll into a Hyperloop or Eurostar style wagon and travel great distances, whatever is more efficient.

Airbus Popup Concept Vehicle sensors layout

Sure, it is only a concept, but Airbus has big plans in the personal transport space, as people become less reliant on airlines and plane sales continue to fall. The pod seats two people and can dock between the quadcopter and new sets of wheels at the destination to keep the weight down.

Usage science and app ordering

Using the app and on-demand trend, people need not own their own “Pop.Up” transportation but could pre-book or order on demand. There are plenty of cunning plans to take us to the less congested skies, and this is currently just another. Yet, Airbus has the experience and business skills to deliver something soon, whereas most rivals are just startups or research projects.

Airbus popup flying pod self driving car interiors layout

Air cars do exist, but it will take something mass market like the Airbus project to perhaps get enough traction to change laws and encourage the take up of mass personal air transport, all electrically driven and environmentally more friendly.

Smart cities are very likely to want to adopt such as service to show how forward-thinking they are. So, while Airbus has a 10-year timeframe for such a concept to hit the skies, the push of technology could see this, or a rival taking off even earlier, especially in more congested cities, or those willing to open up their skies to automated flight.

We have asked Italdesign about the plans for bad weather and options for lakeside communities but have not yet heard back from them. If they reply, we will keep you updated.

Infographic

Infographic Italdesign Airbus Popup Concept Vehicle Data Idea Specification Background


YouTube: Flying-Driving Pop.Up Concept Vehicle by Airbus and Italdesign

Photo credit: Italdesign / Airbus
Source: Franco Bay, Christian Bolognesi (Italdesign) / Anne Galabert, Marie Caujolle (Airbus)

Chris Knight

Chris Knight

I've been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.
Chris Knight

@ChrisKnightCMS

Tech writer interested in mobile, digital business, IT, smart homes and gadgets - anything with a GHz pulse.
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Chris Knight

I've been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.