Audi gets green light to test flying taxiby Ronan Glon
The first tests will take place in Ingolstadt, Audi's home town.
The sky above Ingolstadt, Germany, could soon become crowded. The German government recently signed a letter of intent that gives Audi and partner Airbus permission to test an experimental flying taxi above the former's home town.
Andreas Scheuer, Germany's transport minister, believes flying taxis create a "new dimension of mobility," according to an Engadget report. He added it's a sector that presents a "huge opportunity" for companies like Audi who choose to dabble in the technology.
One of Audi's biggest rivals is Uber. The ride-hailing giant recently announced plans to invest 20 million euros (about $23.4 million) into a research and development center on the outskirts of Paris. Its sole mission will be to develop and build a flying taxi. While Audi teamed up with Airbus, Uber choose to join forces with NASA. The race is on, and there's an immense sum of money at stake.
There's no word yet on when Audi and Airbus will begin testing their prototypes. The two partners showed a futuristic concept car (pictured) at this year's Geneva auto show but it's merely a technology demonstrator; it hasn't flown yet and it's not expected to in the immediate future.
Photo by Ronan Glon.