What happens when carmaker Audi, planemaker Airbus, and car styling house Italdesign unite to create the most futuristic techno-mobility vehicle possible?
In a word, this. The Audi Flying Taxi Concept, set to be presented at Amsterdam’s Drone Week exhibition. An electric car that can drive itself and be collected by a pilotless electric drone for airborne traffic dodging. Brave new world...
Isn’t this a bit of a big leap to make in one concept? Nein, according to says Dr. Bernd Martens, president of the Audi-owned Italdesign. “Flying taxis are on the way. We at Audi are convinced of that,” he said. “More and more people are moving to cities. And more and more people will be mobile thanks to automation. In the future, senior citizens, children, and people without a driver’s license will want to use convenient robot taxis.”
The craft you see here above isn’t yet ready to carry a hapless human: It’s a quarter-scale model. Maybe Audi could use it to ferry pets. It appears to work, at least—Audi says that in the Flying Taxi’s first public test, “the flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously.”
There’s no word on what it did after. Did it return? Did it attain self-awareness and elope, Ex Machina style, into society? Probably not, since Audi reckons this drone-slash-claw-arcade-game hybrid could be in service in major cities within a decade.
If it stops over-grilled cars from tailgating aggressively, we’re all for it.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.