From futuristic vision vehicles to technologies ready for series production: At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Audi will offer a look at tomorrow’s mobility – and is already integrating future technology into its current products. CES is the world’s most important specialized fair for consumer electronics and will take place from January 7 to 10, 2020, in Las Vegas. Audi will be presenting the Audi AI:ME as a personal mobility partner, the empathetic Audi Intelligence Experience technology, and the innovative 3D mixed reality head-up display, for example.
The most personal connection between the car and its user – the Audi AI:ME at CES 2020
Get in and get away from the stress of the urban jungle: The Audi AI:ME is an autonomous, fully connected wellbeing lounge for the mega-cities of tomorrow. The concept car allows its passengers to use their time on board as they please and provides a varied offering of communication, entertainment, or simply relaxation. Audi will be presenting new content and functions from this area at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In doing so, the brand will show once again how customers will be able to use their time in an autonomously driving vehicle in the future and how the car can act as a personal mobility partner.
The Audi AI:ME is part of the family of concept cars that was launched in 2017. Each of the four vision vehicles with electric drive is tailored specially to its clearly defined area of use: The Audi AI:CON for long-distance driving, the AI:RACE for the race track, and the AI:TRAIL for all-terrain driving.
The name AI:ME already hints at its purpose: The user is connected with the Audi Intelligence. The many new systems that lie behind this abbreviation combine two different things: The vehicle’s intelligence that enables automated driving and the interaction intelligence that turns the vehicle into a partner for its passengers. The systems “think” for themselves and are able to learn as well as be proactive and individual. In doing so, they enable the car to interact with its passengers with intelligence and empathy. For example, the Audi AI:ME identifies the passengers’ preferences in terms of climate control and interior lighting, and also offers suggestions for ideal route guidance.
Operating concept: eye tracking and remote touch
The AI:ME is a comfortable and empathetic “third living space” alongside our homes and workplaces. The AI:ME gives the passengers time, as the vehicle drives autonomously and without a driver. Occupants can use their freed up time for online shopping or organizing their leisure time, for example. Since the concept car knows the desires and needs of its passengers, it can proactively suggest ordering food from their favorite restaurant, for example. The user can then select and order the meal they want via eye tracking in the “wellbeing” menu. The AI:ME knows the address of the destination and the arrival time and coordinates the delivery independently. Audi will be demonstrating this concept as part of an automated drive at CES 2020.
Just switch off and leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind – the AI:ME makes it possible. It has two pairs of VR goggles on board that passengers can use in the showcase to virtually glide through a harmonious mountain landscape. The technology is immersive, i.e. the user delves further into the world of VR. In the showcase, the virtual content, which depicts a real environment, is adapted to the movements of the vehicle in real time. The immersive VR technology quickly combines the content displayed with relevant data points of the car, such as acceleration and steering. The passengers feel like they are right in the middle of the action, which allows them to get away from the stress around them even better. This makes the ride in the AI:ME a very special experience, comparable to a visit to a wellness lounge. The passengers and visitors at the trade fair will also see views of Las Vegas on the OLED monitor, interspersed with customized information such as recommendations for hotels or restaurants.
The operation of the car and all communications and interaction systems is done via either voice input or eye tracking. The main purpose of the three-dimensional OLED monitor, which is located under the windshield and makes use of the entire width of the cockpit, is to enable the dialog with eye tracking. Certain function menus can be selected by looking at them and then enable further, differentiated operating levels. Two small infrared cameras, one for the driver and one for the front passenger, observe the movements of the muscles below the eyes to determine the exact line of vision. The passengers confirm their entries via touch-sensitive fields in the door rail (“remote touch”).
Radically new line: exterior design and interior concept
The innovative character of the Audi AI:ME can already be seen from afar. Its wedge-shaped exterior design with the striking horizontal angles in the side windows is reminiscent of the Audi AI:CON concept car from 2017. Solutions like the brand’s typical Singleframe grille and the strongly protruding wheel arches give the car a striking appearance, which is emphasized by the 23-inch wheels. The AI:ME communicates not only with its passengers but also with other traffic users: To do this, the concept of the show car provides LED units and micro matrix projectors that output warning and information symbols.
With a length of 4.30 meters and a width of 1.90 meters, the Audi AI:ME has an extremely compact appearance. However, its wheelbase of 2.77 meters and the height of 1.52 meters allow for an ambiance that is as spacious as it is comfortable. On most journeys, only the individual front seats, which are inspired by classic lounge chairs, are used. If necessary, there is room for two more passengers on the rear bench, which has backrests that extend toward the front in a U-shape.
As regards the interior materials, surfaces and structures from the living space dominate, and filigree wooden braces in the headlining are reminiscent of a pergola. Whenever operating elements like instruments, the steering wheel, and pedals are not needed during autonomous driving (level 4), they retract on their own.
You can find more information on the Audi AI:ME at: https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/press-releases/mobility-for-megacities-audi-aime-11484
The pulse of autonomous driving: Audi surveys 21,000 people
Automated driving as offered by the Audi AI:ME illustrates Audi’s vision with regard to the mobility of the future. But what do people think about this technology? What are their attitudes, hopes, and reservations? The representative online study entitled “The Pulse of Autonomous Driving” provides answers.
21,000 people were asked about their attitude toward autonomous driving for the “&Audi” initiative. The participants came from nine countries on three different continents: Europe, Asia, and America. The results reveal a differentiated picture: The participants from all the countries are very interested in (82 percent) and very curious about (62 percent) autonomous driving. The participants see potential for the individual and society in the new technology – from easier access to mobility (76 percent) and greater comfort (72 percent) all the way to greater safety (59 percent). More than half of the participants would like to try out autonomous driving. At the same time, they also have some concerns, the main one being loss of control (70 percent) and possible residual risks (66 percent). 41 percent are wary of the new technology, and slightly more than a third are anxious. Overall, most participants had little knowledge of autonomous driving. Only eight percent stated that they were able to explain the topic.
The “&Audi” initiative aims to contribute to ensuring that autonomous driving is introduced in the interests of individuals and of society. For further information, please visit: https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/publications/more/the-pulse-of-autonomous-driving-short-version-843
The equipment, data, and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.