Revealed this week, this is the latest restyled version of Pop.Up, ItalDesign and Airbus Industries’ brainchild “for seamless, multi-modal, fully electric urban mobility.” The much-lauded concept had its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017 before arriving in Sussex and stealing the show at FoS FutureLab last summer.
Complete now with the Audi four rings badge on the nose – along with a lot of the car firm’s battery and autonomous driving know-how under the skin – the concept now goes by the name of Pop.Up Next. As well as a smoother look and redesigned interior, the new version is said to be a lot lighter than the first concept.
As before it’s a modular affair of four-wheeled ground platform and four-rotor air module, like a giant drone, with a two-seat passenger pod that connects to either – depending on how the traffic is.
All electric and entirely autonomous, on road and in the air, the car that turns into an aircraft takes off and lands vertically and can speed along at 62mph. AI (artificial intelligence) takes care of getting you to where you want to go, seamlessly linking with other modes of transport if necessary. Control is via speech and face recognition, eye-tracking and a touch function on the giant 49-inch screen.
Audi is obviously impressed. As board member Dr Bernd Mertens says: “Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future.”