2017 ItalDesign x Airbus Pop.Up – Concept Debrief

Maybe all those ‘flying car’ dreamers and visionaries were just too smart – by half.

What if a self-piloted EV road module was left behind when your drone-copter arrives?  That self-driving EV skateboard could drive itself home or to meet you later at the office.  Meanwhile, your transport pod will be under the eight counter-rotating blades of the quad-copter above you?

Pretty intense in how real this fantasy traffic-avoider feels.  Thrilled to have the big brains of Giugiaro and Airbus working together to flesh out the idea.

Here is a crude animation of how this will work.

The insight is rock solid: three innovations are coming to maturity in a few years at the same time.  Each a game-changer:

— long-range EVs

— self-driving cars

— heavy-lift UAV quadcopters

The Pop.Up is impressively finished as an engineering exercise.  60-mile range for the drone, and a max (unladen) flying speed of 60-mph as well.  Just two passengers inside the Capsule, which is designed with an external safety cell, a la the Smartcar, to improve safety in action.  The issue with this first iteration is an airspeed, once laden with the passenger box, drops drastically.  A top end of perhaps 20-mph might need improvement to beat rush-hour.

Most enticing of all?  The ground and air transport modules seem ideal for the sharing economy.  So perhaps owners would just buy their own passenger capsule?  Universal mounts for the upper and lower sections might even make these future-compatible with even faster, longer-range air/ground module upgrades of the future.

Cleverly, the Pop.Up’s road module is able to share its larger battery’s juice with the pod and drone above.

Next horizon after all these technologies converge?  Airbags on the floor.. in case your drone’s claws get slippery?  Check out the gallery and tech specs of each module below.


2017 ItalDesign x Airbus Pop.Up





Length mm. 4403
Height mm. 847
Width mm. 5000
Rotors n. 4+4
Propeller diameter mm. 1780


Power train Electric
Motors 8
Total power 136 kW
Motor power (each motor) (MCP) 17 kW
Range (without payload) 100  km
Charging time 15 minutes
Empty weight ratio (EW/GW) 43.90 %
Total battery(ies) energy / capacity 70.0 kWh
Disc Loading 30.4 kg/m2
Tip Speed 150 m/s
Air Mode



Number of passengers



Vehicle maximum gross weight 600 kg


PERFORMANCE Top Speed (stand-alone module) 100 km/h





Length Mm 3115
Height Mm 681
Width (front/rear) Mm 1848/ 1900
Front overhang Mm 581
Rear overhang Mm 534
Kerb weight Kg 200


PERFORMANCE Top speed km/h 100


Powertrain Electric
Motorwheels 2 (Rear)
Total Power 60 kW
Range 130 km
Charging time 15  Minutes
Total battery(ies) energy / capacity 15 kWh




Length mm 2647
Height mm 1415
Width mm 1540
Number of Passenger 2
Kerb weight kg 200