Porsche and Boeing partner on electric flying vehicle

Europe

Porsche and U.S. planemaker Boeing are working to develop a concept electric flying vehicle capable of transporting people in urban settings.

Porsche and other automakers are aiming to build flying cars that can be used as taxis and for ride-sharing purposes.

“Porsche is looking to enhance its scope as a sports car manufacturer by becoming a leading brand for premium mobility. In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel,” said Porsche’s sales and marketing chief, Detlev von Platen.

As part of the deal, Boeing and Porsche will analyze the market potential for premium aerial vehicles and their possible use in highly populated cities, the companies said in a news release on Thursday.

Boeing, Porsche and Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, are developing a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Engineers from both companies, as well as Porsche subsidiaries Porsche Engineering Services and Studio F.A. Porsche, will implement and test a prototype.

A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025.

Boeing is already competing with arch-rival Airbus and other companies to introduce small self-flying vehicles capable of vertical takeoff and landing.

Earlier this year, the planemaker conducted an inaugural test flight of an aerial car prototype that could accommodate two to four passengers and fly up to 80 km (50 miles).

The test flight was within months of Airbus showcasing a prototype of an autonomous passenger vehicle in partnership with Audi that has the ability to both fly and drive. Audi and Porsche are part of Volkswagen Group.

The Porsche-Boeing partnership comes at a crucial time for both VW Group and Boeing.

The automaker 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 led to a worldwide grounding of its best-selling jet.

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