Aston Martin has its head in the clouds. Or at least the company would like to, after showing the Volante Vision Concept. A look at luxury personal mobility in the sky.
Aston Martin has the luxury grand tourer down, and they've already partnered up to build a luxury submarine, so the next step would be to make sure that the sky isn't the limit. The Volante Vision Concept looks at that next step, even if it's still in the future.
The Volante Vision is a vertical take-off and landing aircraft that seats three in a luxurious cockpit. The large glass canopy will be used as a screen to display information to the driver/pilot. The concept uses a hybrid-electric powertrain to study an autonomous flying vehicle for urban and long-distance travel without the need for roads.
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It was developed by Cranfield University, Rolls-Royce (the aircraft engine company, not the automaker), and Aston. Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said that "With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding. We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution."
Strangely, Palmer said that he doesn't expect such an aircraft to reduce commute times for owners. Instead, he expects that it will mean that people who have the ability to have such a vehicle will just move further away from the city. "The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work. Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban."
Similar designs for concept autonomous aircraft have been shown by Uber and Airbus in recent months. The Aston Martin concept debuted yesterday at the Farnborough International Air Show, in the UK.