Audi is constructing head-turning idea vehicles to point out the completely different aspects of its ongoing electrical automotive offensive. The E-Tron GT unveiled in late 2018 previews a battery-powered high-performance sedan. The This fall E-Tron launched on the 2019 Geneva Auto Present takes the type of a family-friendly, zero-emissions crossover. In April 2019, the German agency unveiled a 3rd design research named AI:me that explores what a linked, autonomous metropolis automotive powered by electrical energy might appear to be.
Quick, extensive, and tall, the AI:me shares solely a hexagonal grille and sharp, swept-back headlights with present members of the Audi household. Designers pushed the wheels out so far as doable to offer the mannequin brief overhangs and a wheelbase that’s unusually lengthy for a compact automotive. These proportions clear up a beneficiant quantity of area for folks and kit. Whereas the AI:me’s upright silhouette will not be rooted in Audi’s present mannequin lineup, it’s barely paying homage to the A2 offered in Europe between 1999 and 2005. It additionally makes the idea look lots much less toaster-like than different autonomous metropolis vehicles we’ve seen just lately.
The AI:me boasts degree 4 autonomous expertise, that means it doesn’t drive itself 100 p.c of the time; it’s nonetheless fitted with a steering wheel, however drivers can push it into the dashboard once they need to turn out to be passengers. Contact-sensitive surfaces make a overwhelming majority of the buttons and stalks generally discovered inside a automotive out of date, whereas a full-width, three-dimensional OLED show replaces each the instrument cluster and the display screen that shows the infotainment system.
The AI:me ensures you gained’t get bored even if you happen to’re caught in visitors. On-board digital actuality (VR) goggles let the passengers watch a film, surf the web, or play video games. Audi previewed this function when it collaborated with Disney to show Holoride at CES 2019. The idea’s infotainment system could be managed through eye-tracking or voice-recognition applied sciences, and lively noise management turns its inside right into a peaceable haven from which customers can work, or chill out and take heed to live performance hall-quality music. The AI:me takes Audi’s tech-savvy interiors to a brand new degree, however the usage of pure supplies (together with walnut trim) prevents a whole, non-reversible tech overload. Its headliner doubles as a backyard, too.
An electrical motor mounted over the rear axle sends 170 horsepower to the rear wheels. It attracts electrical energy from a 65-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack positioned proper underneath the passenger compartment. The corporate hasn’t launched efficiency specs, nevertheless it famous a automotive just like the AI:me primarily operates between 12 and 44 mph. In different phrases: don’t anticipate Audi to ship its newest idea to the Nürburgring.
The Audi AI:me idea made its debut on the 2019 Shanghai Auto Present. The corporate’s alternative of venue is sensible; China is exactly the type of market through which the automotive — assuming it reaches manufacturing — would do effectively. What the longer term holds for the idea is up within the air at this level.
Up to date April 15, 2019: Added full details about the Audi AI:me idea.