As far back as the 1960s motor show visitors were given visions for the future with pictures and posters of carefree couples buzzing around cities in their flying cars.

At the year’s Geneva show, the concept took an unexpected step closer to reality.

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Dutch company PAL-V actually had its Liberty flying car on show and claims to have it ready for sales, complete with flying lessons from as early as next year.

Its video shows the car turning off a country road into a field and, at the touch of a button, helicopter style rotors unfold, a propellor pops out at the front and stabilisers extend.

While it looks plausible, the concept still appears a little far fetched but this is starting to get serious. Established automakers are starting to think seriously about flying cars.

At Geneva, Audi and Porsche revealed they are interested in taking to the air.

Audi even announced announced a partnership with Italdesign and Airbus to develop an electric vehicle called the Pop.Up Next which combines a small driverless car with a detachable drone. Not quite a fully fledged flying car, but it’s a step in that direction.

A lightweight, two seat pod can be fitted to a chassis with four wheels and autonomous driving technology for regular commuting, or to a quadcopter drone for flying above city traffic.

Inside, there are no driving or flying controls at all. Instead there is a 49 inch touchscreen which stretches the entire width of the cabin. 

Audi is providing battery technology and automation while Airbus is responsible for the four rotor drone and Italdesign does what it does – design.

Bernd Martens, Audi board member and president of Italdesign, said in a statement: “Creativity is needed where new mobility concepts for cities and people’s diverse needs are concerned. Italdesign is an incubator for innovation technologies and radical prototyping. Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future.”

Porsche, meanwhile, has nothing solid in the pipeline but was keen to talk about the potential for flying vehicles. Research and development chief chief Michael Steiner told Reuters at Geneva the carmaker is in the early stages of drawing up blueprints of flying taxis for use in urban settings.