Porsche Plans to Enter the Autonomous Flying Taxi Game

Luxury automaker Porsche may now be looking to one-up Audi and Airbus, indicating plans to build an autonomous flying car.

According to Porsche research and development head Michael Steiner at last week's Geneva Motor Show, the technology could be finalized within a decade.

"We are looking into how individual mobility can take place in congested areas where today and in the future, it is unlikely that everyone can drive the way he wants," said Steiner.

In a separate interview by Porsche sales head Detlev von Platen by German publication Automobilwoche, he provided a show of support for the concept.

"That would really make sense," said von Platen. "If I drive from (the Porsche plant in) Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I'm lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes."

A number of startups and established automakers have also expressed interest in bring autonomous, "air taxis" to the public. In late 2016, Uber announced its Elevate program with a five to 10-year timetable, with smaller firms such as China-based EHang and German startup Volocopter winning recent press. Boeing also made a recent acquisition of a self-driving flight company.

This past week, Audi, Italian design firm Italdesign, and Airbus revealed a flying taxi concept called Pop.Up.Next. This concept uses a two-seater commuter pod and a quadrocopter drone to transition between ground and air transportation, lifting the pod to fly across high congestion areas.