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Airbus Italdesign Pop.Up Next (prototype)

Airbus, Audi and Italdesign Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale working prototype in flight

 

Pop.Up Next (prototype)
Airbus, Italdesign
Moncalieri, Italy
website

With the Pop.Up Next, Airbus and Italdesign (Italdesign is a subsidiary of Audi) have combined a self-driving car and autonomous passenger drone. The Pop.Up Next system is comprised of a passenger capsule, drone module and a ground vehicle. The electric vehicle provides advanced air mobility (AAM) of an all-electric passenger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will also provide ground travel with an Audi car chassis. The Pop.UP next is modular all-electric vehicle which transforms from a car to a flying passenger eVTOL aircraft (or passenger drone) and back to a car again. (Image credit: Italdesign)

Pop.Up Next passenger eVTOL and roadable ¼ subscale working prototype vehicle
The Pop.Up Next is an autonomous eVTOL and roadable fully functional ¼ subscale self-driving and self-flying vehicle. The prototype was designed and built by Airbus and Italdesign. Italdesign is a subsidiary of Audi. The first public test drive and fly successfully took place at Amsterdam Drone Week (Nov. 27-28, 2018) in Holland.

The drone has eight propellers, eight electric motors and is powered by battery packs. The capsule can be attached to either the drone module or to the chassis. The ground vehicle module has four wheels, four electric motors and is powered by battery packs. The empty weight of the passenger capsule and drone module is estimated to be 45 kg (~100 lb). Almost no specifications has been revealed for the subscale working prototype.

Envisioned for the production model would include artificial intelligence piloting and driving the vehicle. In addition, inside the passenger capsule will be a large computer screen that interface with the passengers for a fully interactive and virtual environment that will be easy to use. This will allow those people who can't drive, children and seniors will have access to an extremely convenient on-demand advanced ground mobility and advanced air mobility (AAM).

In addition, the capsule is foreseen to be an intermodal capsule able to connect to and ride on special underground rail cars in a subway. The on-demand service will be accessed using an app on your cell phone. Furthermore, this vehicle concept design will allow passengers to relax, take a nap, spend time with others or work when traveling. At the time, the inventors felt this all-electric flying and roadable vehicle is one of the best solutions to reduce congested roads in an urban environment.

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale drone module prototype in flight

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale drone module prototype in flight

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype before flight, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype before flight, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype before flight, rear view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype before flight, rear view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype ground module drive off, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype ground module drive off, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype passenger capsule and ground module drive off, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype passenger capsule and ground module drive off, front view

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype ground module with powered lift platform extended

Pop.Up Next eVTOL ¼ scale prototype ground module with powered lift platform extended

 

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL roadable fully functional ¼ subscale prototype vehicle
  • Piloting: Autonomous piloting
  • Capacity: No passengers
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Empty weight (passenger capsule and drone module): ~45 kg (~100 lb)
  • Propellers (drone module): 8 propellers
  • Electric motors (drone module): 8 electric motors
  • Ground wheels (ground module): 4 ground wheels
  • Electric motors (ground module): 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Passenger Fuselage (capsule): Unknown
  • Road chassis material: Unknown
  • Landing gear: The drone module lands the passenger capsule onto the ground vehicle chassis
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure.

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