Yes, this is an Audi self-driving flying taxi car drone…thing

a1814418 large

Who’s ready to play future technology buzzword bingo?

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 – which can drive itself – and be collected by a pilotless electric drone for airborne traffic dodging. Brave new world…

a1814416 large

a1814415 large

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”, Bernd says.

a1814417 large

a1814419 large

“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.”

a1814420 large

a1814422 large

The craft you see in the gallery 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”.

a1814423 large

There’s no word on what it did then. Did it return? Did it attain self-awareness and elope, Ex Machina style, into society? Probably not, since Audi reckons this drone/claw arcade game hybrid could be in service in major cities within a decade.

If it stops over-grilled cars tailgating aggressively, we’re all for it…

STORY Ollie Kew

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.