The world is changing at a fast pace, and populations are growing rapidly. In the year 2030, it is estimated that 60 percent of all people will live in metropolitan areas with over eight million residents, primarily in Asia and South America. Audi has been posing questions about these trends, and in 2010 it founded the Audi Urban Future Initiative.
The initiative is an interdisciplinary forum that networks creative thinkers with one another across the globe – architects, sociologists, urban planners and trend researchers. It brings together specialists from different disciplines, cultures and perspectives. Together, they analyze the challenges related to mobility in the world’s megacities, and they enter into dialog with urban developers to jointly seek out new solutions.
The findings and ideas that result from the Audi Urban Future Initiative address technical issues, but they also consider social, environmental and aesthetic aspects. The range of topics is as multifaceted as the world’s megacities themselves. The central focus is always on networking between the automobile and the city in the framework of a new, intelligent mobility.
Today, Audi already offers a large bandwidth of technologies and services. They begin with Car-to-X technology, Audi traffic light info online and cover the services of Audi connect – Audi traffic information online, the City Events service and parking space information. Other technologies include piloted driving, which is approaching production readiness, for stop-and-go driving in traffic jams as well as parking and wireless payment in parking structures.
Many other ideas exist for the future. In the Audi Urban Intelligent Assist scenario, for instance, the car serves as an intelligent assistant to people. The ideas and projects range from a navigation system that talks to the driver in a natural way and in easy-to-understand terms to early information on traffic flow, parking options and the weather. The car is not only a data receiver; it can also assume the role of a sender – it can send information such as the address of a meeting location directly to a customer’s smart phone and start pedestrian navigation.
At CES, the Audi Urban Future Initiative is putting an interactive high-tech city model on display which presents the issues and findings of the City Dossier Boston project. This dossier bundles facts and ideas that Audi developed together with the architectural firm Höweler & Yoon of the USA. The architects from Boston, Massachusetts won the Audi Urban Future Award in 2012. The 100,000 dollar prize is the highest of any architectural competition in Germany.
The interface of the interactive city model at CES models urban mobility – the traffic flows, data streams and changes to the infrastructure and the urban space. In the city, visitors can experience the various types of commuters described in the City Dossier Boston. The “Road Warrior” and the “Reverse Commuter” drive their cars from their apartments to their workplaces – the one resides at the outskirts of the city and commutes into the city, while the other travels in the opposite direction. The “Strap Hanger” commutes to the city center or to another city district by public transportation. The interactive city model at the CES gives visitors an impression of how visionary technologies can improve and simplify commuting.
In 2014, the Audi Urban Future Award will be held for the third time – with interdisciplinary innovation teams from three continents, in which game designers are as involved as urban planners, start-ups, IT specialists and scientists. Located in different cities, they develop feasibility studies in the framework of existing mobility projects.
In a preliminary round of the competition, three teams from the USA are competing head-to-head. Each team is examining, in a different way, the question of what role data can play as a planning tool in the urban space. According to the common thesis, data can be used to decisively assist in shaping the cities of the future and establishing new connections between people, mobility and architecture. The selection of the victorious team is made in the context of a “speed pitch” on the Internet. Audi Chairman of the Board Prof. Rupert Stadler will introduce the winning concept at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.