The news comes as companies from start-ups to other global car makers are racing to develop commercial “robo-taxis”.
(Subscribe to our Today’s Cache newsletter for a quick snapshot of top 5 tech stories. Click here to subscribe for free.)
Volkswagen is conducting a feasibility study in China about flying cars,Europe’s biggest automaker said on Tuesday, joining a growing number of companies looking into the potential technology.
“Beyond autonomous driving the concept of vertical mobilitycould be a next step to take our mobility approach into thefuture, especially in the technically affine Chinese market,”the German group said in a statement.
“Therefore we are investigating potential concepts andpartners in a feasibility study to identify the possibility toindustrialize this approach.”
In an interview https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6764879124365377537with Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess on Linkedin, the carmaker’sChina head Stephan Woellenstein said the company wanted todevelop a drone that could be licensed, giving it a way toparticipate in this future market.
China is the world’s biggest autos market, and also accountsfor the largest part of Volkswagen’s sales.
The news comes as companies from start-ups to other globalcarmakers are racing to develop commercial “robo-taxis”, hopingto cash in on a market Morgan Stanley says could be worth $1.5trillion by 2040.
In addition to big players such as Volkswagen and Airbus, groups including U.S.-based Joby, Germany’s Lilium,and Volocopter, whose financial backers include Daimlerand Intel, are pursuing such plans.
Munich-based Lilium said in November it would set up itsfirst U.S. hub near Orlando, putting more than 20 millionFloridians within range of its winged electric aircraft that cantake off vertically and cover 300 km.