Airbus S.A. and Audi Group are working together to establish “near-term urban mobility solutions,” meaning “seamless” air and ground transportation for customers. The customized services will be introduced this summer in São Paulo, Brazil, and Mexico City.
The Airbus contribution to the project will be performed by Voom, an on-demand booking service launched by Airbus Helicopters in 2016, allowing passengers an alternative to traffic congestion in rush-hour traffic.
“This important partnership with Audi addresses both current and future challenges for urban mobility,” according to Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “The world is rapidly urbanizing, and ground infrastructure alone cannot meet the demands of tomorrow. Increased congestion is pushing the cities’ transport systems to the limits, costing travelers and municipalities valuable time and money.”
Enders noted that “adding the sky as a third dimension to the urban transport networks” would revolutionize the way people live in an over-crowded setting.
Airbus noted it had completed out successful trials of the Voom helicopter ride-hailing service in in São Paulo. Voom has been available in Mexico City since March.
Airbus and Italdesign are partnering on Pop Up, an all-electric auto-piloted and modular capsule that connects to either a ground or air module.
The OEM also is developing CityAirbus, an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle for up to four passengers, which reportedly will stage demo flights later this year. Also, its Vahana program is working on VTOL transport for individual travelers or cargo, and it completed its first full-scale flight earlier this year.
Also, Airbus is working with Singapore’s National University on the Skyways project to test a parcel transportation system using autonomous drones.