It's been a while since Airbus last talked about its flying autonomous vehicle project dubbed Vahana. However, at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017, the company finally unveiled the concept design for the vehicle in collaboration with the legendary coachbuilder Italdesign.
The concept vehicle has modular capabilities, which means it can be used both on the ground and in the air. According to Airbus this is the ultimate solution for the extreme traffic congestion in urban areas.
The Design Of The Vehicle
The design of the futuristic project called Pop.Up System contains fully electric functions, along with a capsule that can take up to two passengers. The capsule is connected with a set of wheels.
It seems as though Airbus and Italdesign have given a great deal of thought in coming up with the product design. The passengers will be able to call the vehicle whenever they need with the use of an app on their mobile devices. It has been designed in a way that it can be used in agreement with other transportation options that already exists for more productivity.
This creation includes an artificial intelligence (AI) process that helps to know about any individual operator, possible routes and transit options to offer the best travel options.
The pod or the car module will come with two electric motors making a combined 80 horse power vehicle, which has an effective range of 80 miles. The drone, on the other hand, will house four engines with a total horsepower of 182 which would have a range of 60 miles.
The Way It Would Work
Firstly, you would need to call the vehicle using the system's app and it will arrive at your door quickly. Once inside the pod, a drone will take up the pod and fly you to where you want to go and set you down on top of a set of wheels placed there.
After putting you down safely, the pod drives you to your destination and the drone departs to help another user.
"Adding the third dimension to seamless multi-modal transportation networks will without a doubt improve the way we live and how we get from A to B," says Mathias Thomson, GM of Airbus Urban Air Mobility in a video introducing the zero-emission system.
He also added that the collaboration of Airbus and Italdesign will bring new concepts and technologies for the future development of smart cities. According to Airbus, this project is only a concept for now and it needs to make the system ready for service design within 7 to 10 years.
However, the company is putting in a lot of effort to make this concept a reality and it shows their determination towards the project.
If you want to see the Pop.Up then check out the video below.