Volkswagen is carrying out a feasibility study in China about flying cars, Europe’s biggest automaker said on Tuesday, joining an increasing number of companies looking into the potential technology.
“Beyond autonomous driving the concept of vertical mobility could be a next step to take our mobility approach into the future, especially in the technically affine Chinese market,” the German automaker said.
“Therefore we are investigating potential concepts and partners in a feasibility study to identify the possibility to industrialize this approach.”
In an interview with Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess on Linkedin, the automaker’s China head Stephan Woellenstein said the company wanted to develop a drone that could be licensed so that it could participate in this future market.
China is the world’s biggest automobile market and also represents the largest part of Volkswagen’s sales.
The news comes as companies from start-ups to other global automakers are racing to develop commercial robotaxis, hoping to cash in on a market Morgan Stanley says could be worth about $1.5 trillion by 2040.
Together with big players such as Volkswagen and Airbus, groups including Joby, LIFT aircraft, Lilium, and Volocopter, whose financial backers include Daimler and Intel, are carrying out such plans.