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Pop.Up, the Airbus flying car lands in Geneva

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We dreamed about it, Airbus did it: the electric flying car Pop.Up! It is an innovative prototype, a cross between a flying vehicle, a drone and an autonomous taxi that has just caused a sensation at the Geneva Motor Show. A real revolution in mobility through artificial intelligence that should be born in 2027.
 
UA car that flies but has no wings... you should have thought of that! Especially on behalf of Airbus: the aircraft manufacturer decided to separate the land and air elements of the vehicle. The vehicle is presented as the first modular, all-electric, zero-emission concept system designed to reduce congestion in busy megacities. The passenger compartment can be docked either to a car chassis or to rotors to make it take off. Simply put, when you're on the road, the two-passenger cabin is secured to a chassis with four electrically-powered wheels. For a trip in the air, autonomous wings are inserted on the roof of the vehicle before a vertical takeoff.
"Pop.Up combines the flexibility of a small two-seater land vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTLA), uniting the automotive and aeronautics industries.s, summarize the project proponents.
 

 
The journey can therefore optionally start in autonomous electric car mode (130 km) then, at certain points, switch to air mode with the UAV attached to the roof of the capsule to take it into the air, the ground module then returning to the nearest Pop.Up station.
 
At the origin of this concept, the partnership between the European aircraft manufacturer, and its specific division Urban Air Mobility and the Italdesign design office, specialized in engineering for the transport industry. The result is a modular two-seater carbon fibre capsule which, depending on the chosen configuration, will be able to travel fully automatically at 100 km/h on road, rail or even in the air thanks to its eight rotors.
Pop.Up will be equipped with an artificial intelligence platform to manage "the complexity of journeys, based on the knowledge of its user, offering different usage scenarios and ensuring a seamless travel experience," says Airbus. On board, the interface for dialogue with users will be entirely virtual.
 
Furthermore, as explained Les EchosThanks to its "three-layer" concept architecture, the "capsule" also takes into account the user's habits:
- A capsule-shaped passenger vehicle designed to be coupled with two independent modules electrically powered by batteries (the ground module and the air module). Other means of public transport, such as trains or future hyperloops, can also be integrated into the capsule.
- An artificial intelligence platform manages the complexity of journeys, based on the user's knowledge and habits (possible connection with carpooling or car sharing, for example). It offers different usage scenarios and ensures a seamless travel experience.
- An interface module dialogues with users in a fully virtual environment.
 
This combination could provide an answer to the problem of "commuter" journeys (between the periphery and the centre) in large conurbations.
Commuters", after booking their trip via a smartphone application, would drive to the city gates and then fly to their workplace in the congested hypercentre.
 
Airbus hopes "to offer the world's megacities, faced with the headache of the explosion in road traffic expected by 2030, a modular transport system based on co-sharing and all-electric (zero emissions)," reports Les Echos.
 
 
An innovation that should certainly relieve congestion on transport routes, but what about regulations, highway and air codes?! If technological innovation is progressing well, it is not the same for laws ... And it would be a pity if the dream stops there.
 

Read also : The story of the flying car

 

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