Dynamics at a standstill: Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment

The “Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” project presents a novel approach to experiencing movies, TV series, and streaming content in an automobile with all of your senses. From a technical perspective, it takes the exact opposite path to the “Audi Experience Ride”. The car remains stationary; only its body moves—to match the images the occupants are seeing. They are immersed into the world of the movie as seat vibrations, sound, and interior light animations intensify this effect. Exciting car chases, stormy winds, and even the heat of a ride through the desert can be felt with the viewer’s own body.

The crowd will be fired up with action movies at the CES. The “Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” will be demonstrated in an Audi A8. The movie scenes will be shown on a large screen positioned in front of the car, as well as on the MMI display in the car, and the tablets in the rear. It will be a moving experience for the occupants! 

The luxury sedan is equipped with the optional active suspension that will go into production shortly. It uses four electromechanical actuators to load or relieve each wheel with up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) in a targeted way and thereby regulate the position of the body. The active suspension can lift the body by up to 85 millimeters (3.3 in) from its central position at all four corners within five-tenths of a second. The active suspension performs a very special task in the “Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” project: It translates the action from the movie into physical vertical movements. In doing so, the vehicle body is shaken at a high frequency, enabling movements such as lifting and lowering, pitching, and wavering. Each movement matches the sequences shown in the movie exactly.

To make the experience even more spectacular, the cushions and backrests of the front seats each contain ten small motors that generate vibrations with a frequency of up to 200 Hz, similar to the motion seats in modern 4D movie theaters. This way, there is no lack of surprise effects during action or horror movies. This “cinematic experience” is further enhanced by the air conditioning and the 40 LEDs of the ambient and contour lighting, which can be actuated individually and in time with the movie scenes. With a total of 23 loudspeakers, the high-end sound system of the demonstrator vehicle creates a special surround sound to round off the unique experience.

A computer located in the luggage compartment accesses the car’s technology and transmits its commands to the corresponding control units. This requires an electronics architecture that enables complete networking of all vehicle functions and intelligent actuation of the control units. The “Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” project is currently in the preliminary development stage. It has the potential to turn idle and waiting times, whether in your garage or while you are stuck in traffic, into fun times. Even at slow driving speeds, it is possible to experience entertainment content in an entirely new way and to increase the degree to which the passengers become immersed in the action. In such situations in particular, the project could function as an addition to the “Audi Experience Ride.”

While the content will be shown on the MMI screen of the test mule and on the tablets in the rear at the CES, it is conceivable to display content via VR goggles in the future—like with the “Audi Experience Ride”—to further amplify the cinematic effect.

Audi is already thinking ahead: The technology is also to be used for video games in the future to considerably increase the degree to which players become immersed in the game. This could potentially enable a realistic racing game experience as we currently know it only from simulators in a series production vehicle in the future.

The mobility of the future is sustainable and intelligent even today

Digitalization allows us to look at things from a new perspective. In this context, it is important to focus consistently on the customers’ needs while creating a unique product experience. The e-tron (combined electric power consumption in kWh/100 km (62.1 mi)*: 26.2 –22.6 (WLTP); 24.6 - 23.7 (NEFZ); combined CO2 emissions in g/km (g/mi): 0), which is the first fully electric series production model from Audi, is setting the pace here. Audi seamlessly integrates services and platforms such as Amazon Alexa, which are part of the customers’ everyday life. With functions on demand, customers can adapt the car to their personal needs even after the purchase. Personalization also plays an important part when it comes to lighting technologies of the future.

* Figures depending on the chosen equipment level

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.