Audi given permission to operate aircraft
The German car manufacturer Audi has been given permission by German authorities to operate experimental aircraft in their hometown of Ingolstadt
Audi has partnered with aviation giant Airbus and the German city of Ingolstadt to begin testing its prototype air taxis in and around the Bavarian city.
Audi has said in a statement that the tests will help develop a mode of transport that would overcome the city’s congested roads. A statement was made at this year’s Geneva motor show with Audi saying it had teamed up with both Italdesign and Airbus to develop flying cars.
Following the announcement of the Ingolstadt tests, Germany’s transport minister, Andreas Scheuer said:
“Flying taxis aren’t a vision any longer, they can take us off into a new dimension of mobility,”
At the Swiss show, Audi showed off its 'Pop Up Next' concept that combined a self-driving car that would dock with a passenger drone to beat congestion. The pure-electric concept was back then described as a “vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future”.
This on-demand robo-taxi is a vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL) and it is believed that this will have plenty of competition when it eventually hits the market.
Mercedes-Benz has already invested in a German passenger drone company, while Toyota has confirmed it will have an ‘airborne personal mobility device’ ready for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Finally, even Chinese car-making giant Geely is getting in on the flying car act, purchasing US-based Terrafugio back in 2017. It is confident it will beat all its rivals to market with its first flying car set to go on sale in 2019.