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Audi, Flying Cars, Reports
The German government has signed a letter of intent allowing #Audi and Airbus to test air taxi prototypes in Ingolstadt. The two companies have already unveiled a two-seater flying car concept featuring a drone-like propulsion system.

If tests prove successful, then Germany’s days of having clogged city roads might come to an end. Flying taxis could also unlock new growth potential for Germany’s high-tech industry, according to the government’s press office, reports Autonews.

“Flying taxis aren’t a vision any longer, they can take us off into a new dimension of mobility,” stated German Transport Minister, Andreas Scheuer. “They’re a huge opportunity for companies and young startups that already develop this technology very concretely and successfully.”

The concept previously unveiled by Audi and Airbus is called the Pop.Up Next. Its propulsion system boasts four large pods, each hosing eight helicopter blades. In turn, each blade is powered by a 26 HP (20 kW) electric motor, being fed by a 70 kWh battery.

In total, the flight module produces 214 HP (160 kW) and can allow for a top speed of 120 km/h (74 mph). Its total range is 50 km (31 miles), after which it would need to land in order to recharge for 15 minutes.

Of course, Audi is by no means the only automaker looking to invest in this type of technology. Daimler has already joined forces with Intel Corp in order to get behind Volocopter, a German startup who has built a drone-like electric helicopter. Meanwhile, last November, Volvo-parent Geely acquired Terrafugia, a U.S. flying-car developer.

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