Pop.Up is the latest conceptual car-and-drone project from Airbus, which has just been announced, and although there are so many car-drone concept’s out there especially in the last few years alone, there is a lot of hope for this one.
In this project, the car is the drone. The drone is the car. And, in Airbus’ fantastic future world, you can seamlessly transition from car to flying car to train all without lifting your butt off the seat. Now we are interested.
Pop.Up revolves around a small, Smart Car-sized monocoque (or ‘passenger capsule,’ as Airbus calls it) that can be used in multiple modes of transportation.
The conceptual video shows a woman summoning the capsule to her home in self-driving car form. It takes her to a parking garage where a giant quadcopter scoops the capsule up to fly her the rest of the way to her destination.
The video also shows a row of the capsules embedded inside a sort of train too.
The whole system is (theoretically) powered by artificial intelligence, which Airbus says will develop a “seamless travel experience” by dodging congestion. There’s also an augmented reality component, which at one point is used to prod the rider for feedback on a proposed bike lane.
Airbus partnered with Italian design firm Italdesign, which shaped production cars like the original Volkswagen Golf and dozens of concepts for BMW and Alfa Romeo. But this particular design is so futuristic that it plays like concept bingo.
Vertical take-off and landing? Zero-emission electric motors? AI and AR? All present.
Pop.Up is certainly an idea of the future, and it is likely that it will show up in a video game before it ever crosses into a reality. Unsurprisingly, Airbus hasn’t announced a time frame for the project.