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
POP.UP TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
|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|
Number of passengers
|Vehicle maximum gross weight||600 kg|
|PERFORMANCE||Top Speed (stand-alone module)||100 km/h|
|Width (front/rear)||Mm||1848/ 1900|
|Total Power||60 kW|
|Charging time||15 Minutes|
|Total battery(ies) energy / capacity||15 kWh|
|Number of Passenger||2|
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.