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Airbus Pop.Up Combines Drone with Self-Driving Car

Why sit in traffic when you can hop into your self-flying car?

Airbus is showcasing a concept car design called Pop.Up at the Geneva Auto Show that will allow you to drive around and then, when you're ready, get picked up by a massive quadricopter and fly around town. The technology was designed in partnership with Italdesign.

According to several reports, including one in TechCrunch, which spoke with Airbus, you would sit inside the cabin, which sits atop a frame with four wheels. If you're not in a hurry, you can drive around in your modular car, which would offer self-driving capabilities. When you were tired of being landlocked or simply wanted to take flight, you can use a smartphone app to request what Airbus calls an air module (the car frame is the ground module).

The Airus Pop.Up concept could be your skyborne chaffeur in the future. Credit: Airbus

(Image credit: The Airus Pop.Up concept could be your skyborne chaffeur in the future. Credit: Airbus)

The air module will seek you out using artificial intelligence and attach to the top of your "passenger capsule." It'll then pick you up and bring you to your destination, all while you enjoy the views around you. And along the way, you can communicate with the system to get information, change your destination, and more.

MORE: The Best Gadgets for Drivers

The concept technology comes at a time when many companies, including Alphabet's Waymo and Tesla, are looking to self-driving car technology as the next big thing in transportation. They hope that within the next few years, you'll be able to hop in a car and not need to interact with it at all. They also promise better safety.

But Airbus, which has made its name building airplanes for companies around the world, believes flying cars are a better solution. It argues that the technology would reduce urban congestion and could ultimately make for a more efficient means of travel. It could also prove to be more environmentally sound.

But before you break out your wallet and plunk down a preorder, be aware that while Airbus is floating the concept at the Geneva Auto Show starting tomorrow, it's far from actually bringing it to a dealership near you. In fact, it's possible the concept might never get off the ground. And even if it did, it's likely several years from being tested and tried out in the real world.

Still, we want one.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.