October 10, 2019 / 4:52 PM / 3 days ago

Boeing partners with Porsche on electric flying car

An urban air mobility vehicle concept in an image courtesy of Porsche. Courtesy Porsche/REUTERS

(Reuters) - U.S. planemaker Boeing Co said on Thursday it was working with Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) 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 SE 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 50 miles.

The test flight was within months of Airbus showcasing a prototype of an autonomous passenger vehicle in partnership with Volkswagen’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 analyze 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 Volkswagen and Boeing.

The German carmaker 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.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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