STUTTGART -- Porsche is joining Daimler, Volvo owner Geely and Italdesign as companies that see flying cars as a way to escape congested roads in the world's megacities.
Cities the world over have struggled to keep pace with a constant influx of new residents, according to Porsche, and it can take hours to reach the airport in many major metropolitan areas.
“There’s another dimension out there that is completely empty without any traffic jams,” Porsche sales chief Detlev von Platen said at a press event at the company's offices here “So why shouldn’t we develop something in this direction?”
“Think about Mexico or Brazil -- there are cities that are overflowing and if you want to travel 20 kilometers (12 miles) it can take four hours, in the air it only takes a few minutes,” Von Platen said.
Porsche believes so-called “three-dimensional mobility” in which drones quickly bypass the congested roads on the ground by taking to the sky would better differentiate itself from competitors. "Just like you drive a Porsche, you would fly the drone, without needing a pilot or your own license,” von Platen said.
Porsche is in the early stages of drawing up a blueprint of a flying taxi but expects it could take up to a decade to finalize technology before they can launch in real traffic, development chief Michael Steiner said at the Geneva auto show last week.
At the Geneva auto show last week, Italdesign and Audi presented the Pop.Up Next, a further development of the Pop.Up self-driving ground car and flying cab modular concept shown last year at the same venue. Italdesign, Audi and Porsche are all Volkswagen Group companies.
Daimler was last year among companies that invested in Germany's Volocopter to help develop an electric flying taxi. Volocopter is developing a five-seat vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft aimed at the taxi market.
Volvo owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has bought Terrafugia, a U.S. flying-car developer, which expects to deliver its first flying car to the market next year.
Reuters contributed to this report