A letter of intent has been signed between Airbus, Audi, design house Italdesign and German government with an aim to develop new mobility concepts for cities and people’s various needs with the Urban Air Mobility project. At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Audi, the Audi subsidiary Italdesign and Airbus presented Pop.Up Next, an all-electric, fully automated concept for horizontal and vertical mobility.

In the distant future, concepts such as Pop.Up Next will work to transport people quickly and comfortably on the roads and in the air in large cities, thus solving traffic problems. It works by building an electric car that could detach from its motorized base and fly around the city via a quadcopter. The motorized base would need full, Level 5 autonomous driving technology as the system would in a ride-sharing capacity. 

The Urban Air Mobility project is part of an EU initiative in the context of the marketplace for the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Smart Cities and Communities (SCC). The manifesto describes the first phase of the EU initiative, in which other European cities such as Hamburg and Geneva are participating.