Auto Shanghai 2019: Audi reveals AI:ME autonomous vehicle – complete with plants!

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At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is introducing a mobility concept for the megacities of the future. The showcar, known as the Audi AI:ME, offers the ability to drive autonomously at level 4. This allows the occupants to do what they like with their time on board. It’s also the first to feature onboard vegetation!

With an exterior length of 4.30 metres and a width of 1,90 metres, the Audi AI:ME takes up no more road space than a present-day compact car. However, the wheelbase of 2.77 metres and the height of 1.52 metres offer spacious interior dimensions, claims Audi, thanks to the architecture of the electric drive.

Designed for relaxing in, the Audi AI:ME features magnets which serve as cup holders and which can hold metal cups or plates in place as required so occupants can enjoy a meal while riding in the automated Audi AI:ME.

Onboard is a multifunctional, three-dimensional OLED monitor that runs below and along the entire length of the windscreen and which can be controlled with eye-tracking.  For example, navigation or infotainment menus can be activated with the eye and then open up further levels that move from the background into the sharp view mode on the 3D monitor.

Also provided are VR goggles for the visual output of the infotainment system. The vehicle’s own movement is detected by a sensor system and then integrated interactively into the visual course of a game so passengers feel like they are literally in the midst of the action as they are being transported. 

Uniquely, the Audi AI:ME is the first vehicle to use real in the plants in its interior! The idea is to gives occupants a feeling of proximity to nature and to improve air quality in the automobile at the same time.

With the self-driving cars of the future, headlights will be used to communicate with other road users as much as to illuminate the road ahead, claims Audi.  Therefore the AI:ME digital matrix will be used to display moving graphics to output clearly understandable signals relating to the driving condition and, of course, also to mark the vehicle itself.

Graphics can be projected onto the road or a wall and matrix projectors can also provide additional safety to other road users with weaker lighting by automatically illuminating their surroundings.

Finally customers booking the vehicle will be able to configure it to suit their personal preferences as far as possible. The colour, interiors, and technical options can be pre-configured online with the app or via the driver details stored in the “myAudi” system. Even drivers’ preferred interior temperature, the perfect ergonomical seat adjustment, and their personal music library are already activated when they get into the car.

The app, which is operated via a smartphone and in the car itself, also serves as an assistant and intermediary for many other services. For example, it can be used for spontaneous communication with friends via the Internet or social media.

Users can take selfies on board and share them in social networks. They can access the entire Internet for the purposes of entertainment, research, and service. Users can order food on the way and make a quick, automated stop at a restaurant to have it delivered to the car, and then enjoy their meal in the vehicle on their way home.

 

 

Chris Price