Boeing and Porsche, meet George Jetson.
The US aircraft giant and German sports car maker announced Thursday they are teaming up to “explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace,” through “a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.”
Translation: They want to develop an electric vehicle that can fly.
The announcement did not include any details about the amount of money or other resources the two companies plan to invest in the effort, or a target date or price range.
Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen AG, is the world’s largest automaker. It has announced a major push into the development of electric vehicles, setting a target of building 22 million electric cars across its brands over the next 10 years.
“We are combining the strengths of two leading global companies to address a potential key market segment of the future,” says Detlev von Platen, a member of the Porsche board in charge of sales and marketing. “In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel.”
Boeing’s revenue topped $100 billion for the first time in 2018, although its sales will be sharply lower this year due to the grounding of its best selling commercial jet, the 737 Max, following two fatal accidents that killed 346 people. It has already shown a prototype of a self-driving electric powered flying car earlier this year.
“Porsche and Boeing together bring precision engineering, style and innovation to accelerate urban air mobility worldwide,” said Steve Nordlund, general manager of Boeing NeXt, a unit of the company working on next-generation vehicles and aircraft.