Extensively networked, automated and electrified – these characteristics define the Audi of the future. Audi AI will soon be the cipher for a variety of innovative systems which will relieve strain on the driver and simultaneously also offer him or her new possibilities to use the time spent in the car. To this end, Audi AI also uses strategies and technologies from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This thus puts the brand ahead of its competitors.
Audi AI systems are capable of learning and thinking, whilst also being proactive and personal. Thanks to Audi AI, models bearing the four rings will be both intelligent and empathetic. They will be able to continually interact with their surroundings and the vehicle occupants, and thus adapt themselves in a better way than ever before to the individual requirements of those on-board.
Freedom on the road
Audi AI will pick up on the many years of experience which the brand has accumulated in concept cars featuring piloted driving. The new label will see innovative and intelligent electronic systems and technologies from Audi bundled together. Audi AI will create new forms of freedom for drivers and passengers by reducing the complexity of their interaction with the vehicle and with other road users. Various elements of artificial intelligence will also play a leading role in this – both in the development of new, intelligent and empathetic systems, as well as during their subsequent use. In order to do this, Audi is evaluating various approaches to and methods of machine learning.
Research on the highway
In 2009 already, a piloted Audi TTS drew the four rings on the frozen salt lake in Utah (USA) as a visible sign of the company’s decade-long research. A year later, a driverless Audi TT drove up Pikes Peak in Colorado (USA).
In 2013, Audi was the first car manufacturer worldwide to obtain a testing license for the US states of California and Nevada. In January 2015, the Audi A7 piloted driving concept research vehicle drove 900 kilometers on the highway from Stanford to Las Vegas. And in May 2015, a driverless Audi was on the road in the dense urban traffic of Shanghai (China) – one of the most complex situations ever.
At what point is the development of the intelligent automobile today? Ultrasound and radar sensors, laser scanners, camera-based systems, a high-performance processor for data processing and a rapid internet connection via the mobile phone network are all features which the new Audi A8 has on-board. The rule-based application of driving assistance systems such as the active lane assist, the adaptive cruise control (ACC) or the predictive efficiency assistant has already made driving safer, more comfortable and more efficient in the past years.
The car looks to the future
Audi AI is now introducing the next step: the large amounts of driving data gathered by the various assistance systems will soon be able to be processed much more quickly and they will be usable and comparable in almost real-time with the data of other road users. The fully networked vehicle will take a much more distant look into the future than with systems previously used, and that is thanks to Audi AI. In short: the car of the future will gain the possibility to make prognoses.
In the new Audi A8, the Audi AI traffic jam pilot will be the first system in the world to be presented, which allows for highly automated driving at level 3. Level 3 means: in certain situations, the car takes over the task of driving. During this time, the driver no longer has to permanently survey all processes – contrary to level 2. The driver needs merely to be in a position to take back control once he or she is requested to do so. The new Audi AI traffic jam pilot is a technological milestone which was preceded by many years of research and development work.
Vehicle intelligence and interaction intelligence
Vehicle intelligence is a key component of Audi AI: that’s because intelligent assistance systems and technologies will lead the way to the fully autonomous vehicle. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot in the new Audi A8 is an example of how vehicle intelligence looks today. A comprehensive collection of sensors takes in the surroundings. The data from these is then computed in the central vehicle assistance control unit (zFAS) which celebrates its premiere in the new Audi A8. This continually delivers a map of the surroundings and is supported by means of a second data fusion in the radar control unit. The new Audi A8 is the first series-production automobile in the world to fulfill the technical requirements to drive upon request in a highly automated manner in traffic situations.
On the path to fully automated driving functions and the vision of autonomous driving, the car of the future will offer much more. Besides continually improved vehicle intelligence, interaction intelligence will also grow.
In the future, thanks to Audi AI, the car will feature a completely new characteristic: empathy towards vehicle occupants. The intelligent systems and technologies turn the car into a thinking, empathetic assistant which surpasses its initially intended purpose. Audi AI allows the vehicles of the future to anticipate the wishes of the driver or passengers in a situationally appropriate way, and thus to proactively support them in all situations. Furthermore, they can suggest a service and book it for the passengers autonomously, very much like a personal concierge. Thus, Audi AI creates new freedom and a new type of premium experience.
In a nutshell, Audi AI stands for the comprehensive and responsible interplay of innovative technologies which are seamlessly networked with the infrastructure and with other road users. The Audi of the future will continually learn new things and develop its capabilities even further. In this way, the technology adapts itself to the individual needs of people.
The individual components of Audi AI change our interaction with automobiles and improve the quality of our stay on-board. The car will become more and more a “third living space” alongside our homes and workplaces. Individual customer benefits are Audi’s main focus, as too is the clear relation to mobility. The advantages of Audi AI for the customer are clearly defined: the intelligent systems and technologies focus on time, safety, efficiency and individual adaptability.
Advantage 1: Time
Functions such as the new Audi AI traffic jam pilot or piloted parking are just the beginning. Audi AI makes it possible for the driver of the future to create a completely different type of stay on-board the fully-connected vehicle than was previously possible. Slowly but surely, he/she will be able to release the steering wheel and, instead, connect with the vehicle in a completely new way. The driver gains time as the autonomously driving vehicle takes over routine tasks such as parking or even driving through the car wash.
Time savings and comfort gains
The infotainment functions are continually expanding, with the ever-increasing internet speed making it possible to share large quantities of data during the journey. Simultaneously, the integration of communications media in the vehicle continues to advance. They allow people to work inside the vehicle, for example, taking part in a video conference. The driver has more time and more choice as to how he/she wishes to use the time aboard the vehicle. But the car of the future doesn’t just offer great potential for saving time and improving comfort while on the road, in specially designated areas, so-called “Audi AI zones”, an Audi will soon be able to complete tasks autonomously while the driver works or enjoys some leisure time.
Audi AI Zone:
The driver parks the Audi in a designated area (the handover zone). From there, the car drives on its own and un-manned to a multistory parking garage with various services on offer, such as a car wash, a package station, a gas station, or – in the case of an electric vehicle – a charging post. Thanks to Audi AI, the car can look after all of these things itself. Connected with its surroundings, the intelligent Audi can even locate a parking space itself before precisely parking in it. At the desired time, the vehicle is positioned back in the handover zone, ready for its next journey. The driver can follow the actions of the vehicle at any time using an app, to which he/she can also add new services.
The time savings and associated comfort gains from which Audi customers benefit during their visit to an Audi AI zone can soon become a reality. The development of a standardized interface for connecting various smart devices, as well as web-based integration of vehicle-specific apps will soon be mature enough for series production. The Audi of the future will thus become part of the internet of things, seamlessly and smartly integrating itself within the world of its user.
Modern cars use car-to-x technology to avoid traffic jams and other annoying waits. What’s more, piloted driving will, in the future, also assist drivers during their journey. Freed of the requirement to steer, the driver has free hands and a clear head for other things – and that for around an hour per day on average.
But what about when all cars navigate around the town without the driver having to do anything? How does a premium brand differentiate itself in such a case? As part of the project entitled “25th HOUR”, Audi will turn its customers into great time management specialists. This sees individual preferences being in central focus. The interior adapts itself so that the user can enjoy the best possible relaxation, make the most of family and friends or even complete a bit of work. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Audi is currently investigating how digital signals, light moods and auditive stimuli in the car affect the human organism, for example in relation to stress levels or concentration. Findings from this are intended to inspire interior and usability designers in turning the car of the future into a picture perfect workplace.
Advantage 2: Safety
Currently, driver error accounts for up to 90 percent of all road accidents. In the future, Audi AI will prevent dangerous situations which cause accidents from arising in the first place. In order to make autonomous driving possible even in difficult traffic situations in the future, further methods and approaches will be required. These range from rule-based systems right up to elements from artificial intelligence. The development of a vehicle capable of avoiding accidents is the top priority at Audi.
Advantage 3: Efficiency
Extensively networked and piloted vehicles use space and energy more efficiently, which brings about both ecological and economical benefits. Using car-to-x technology (intelligent networking of road users and the infrastructure), the vehicle can, for example avoid traffic jams and calculate optimum diversions. Alongside personal customer benefit and energy savings, piloted driving delivers a further economical dimension: heavily frequented roads are subject to sustainably less strain thanks to targeted guidance of traffic flows.
Advantage 4: Customization
By means of Audi AI, the vehicle gets to know its occupants and their habits personally. Man and machine communicate with one another in order to create trust and to facilitate the smooth running of the daily routine. “Audi Fit Driver” keeps an eye on the driver’s health condition, while the personal, intelligent assistant (PIA) gets to know the driver and, thanks to intelligent algorithms, can independently and adaptively interact with him/her.