Boeing and Porsche working on self-flying vehicle for urban use
Bengaluru — US plane maker Boeing said on Thursday that it is working with Volkswagen’s (VW) sports car brand Porsche to develop a concept electric flying vehicle capable of transporting people in urban settings.
Boeing is already competing with arch-rival Airbus and other companies to introduce small, self-flying vehicles capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL).
Earlier this year, the plane maker conducted an inaugural test flight of an aerial car prototype that could accommodate two to four passengers and fly up to 80km.
The test flight was within months of Airbus showcasing a prototype of an autonomous passenger vehicle in partnership with VW’s premium brand, Audi, that has the ability to both fly and drive.
Porsche has been aiming to build flying cars that can be used as taxis and for ride-sharing purposes.
As part of the deal, Boeing and Porsche will analyse the market potential for premium aerial vehicles and their possible use in highly populated cities and metropolises, the companies said.
The partnership comes at a crucial time for both VW and Boeing. The German car maker is trying to build its brand image following a diesel emissions scandal, while Boeing has been struggling with its worst crisis since two fatal crashes of its 737 MAX planes, and cracks found in some of its 737 NG planes recently, led to a worldwide grounding of its best-selling jet.