At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is introducing the Audi AI:ME, mobility for future megacities, a vision of an autonomous city car. The concept offers compact dimensions, a spacious, futuristic interior, and the autonomous driving at level 4. This allows the driver-occupants to do what they like. The Audi AI:ME offers a broad range of high-tech for communication, entertainment and relaxation. The body line of the Audi AI:ME demonstrates perfect synthesis between emotions and the economy. The name AI:ME emphasizes the connection to the Audi AIcon, the study of automated long-distance vision presented in 2017. With a length of 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) and a width of 1,90 meters (6.2 ft), the Audi AI:ME dimensions wise is a typical compact car. Thanks to electric drive that allows shorter overhangs, the wheelbase is 2.77 meters (3 ft) and the height is 1.52 meters (5 ft) give a very spacious interior. The electric drive unit is back on the rear axle and produces 125 kW (170 metric hp). The AI:ME is designed for only the individual seats at the front to be used during most journeys, it offers space for up to four people in the front and on the rear bench if necessary.
Both Audi AI:ME and Audi AIcon names refer to the new, two-letter abbreviation under which Audi is bringing innovative mobility technologies of the future. AI is the code for a range of electronic systems that relieve strain on drivers and offer them new ways to use the time spent in the car. The name of the AI:ME connects AI and the users, Audi cutting edge technologies are being proactive and personalized. They will be able to continually interact with their surroundings and passengers, adapt themselves to the liking of those on board. Automated driving, relax while traveling, that was only available rail transportation or aviation now is coming as a breakthrough in automotive transport. The Audi AI:ME is designed for city-level 4 driving, the second-highest level on a standardized international scale for increasing automation. Systems with level 4 do not require any human assistance, their function is limited to a specific area -such as highways or a specially equipped area in inner cities. The driver is required to resume the task only when the car leaves the area defined for fully automated driving. Audi AIcon is equipped to level-5 that is always fully autonomous, the Audi AI:ME have to be equipped with the traditional steering wheel and control elements in addition.
Audi AI fundamentally changes how automobiles are used, the car is increasingly becoming a “third living space” alongside homes and workplaces. Audi design team prioritized the interior and made it the core of the whole vehicle. The focus here is less on the traditional connection between driver and vehicle and more on the time spent in the automated vehicle. In the Audi AI:ME occupants can enjoy a relaxed meal while riding or put VR goggles on for the visual output of the infotainment system, internet use, watching movies, or even interactive gaming. Audi shows the possibilities that await us in the future with the Holoride system. The vehicle movements are detected by a sensor system and then integrated interactively into the visual course of a game. The occupants experience the interior of the Audi AI:ME not simply as a means of transport, but as a luxurious atmosphere with numerous high-tech features. The high-quality audio system is coupled with noise compensation that can completely suppress the outside noise level.
The feeling inside is familiar to the one from the home environment, high-quality textiles, recycled products, wood all together with the predominantly technical character of the vehicle gives a cozy and luxurious touch. The interior gets its special ambiance from the tension between the natural and technological elements. The use of real plants in the interior of the automobile is a first. Sophisticated filter technology prevents external odors from entering into the interior. Systems that determine the stress levels for vital parameters also serve the wellbeing of the occupants. Intelligent algorithms allow the Audi AI:ME to get to know the driver better and better and improve their options in a specific manner.
The exterior of Audi AI:ME is immediately recognizable, design is characterized by the hexagonal Singleframe with the inverted shape and surface typical for an Audi of the future. There are clear similarities to Audi AIcon like the significant angle in the side windows. The exterior differs strongly from the mainstream competition. The large side doors that open in opposite directions and are fastened at the front and back facilitate getting into the vehicle with ease. And yet, the Audi AI:ME does not appear as a cubic van but exudes dynamism even at a standstill. Large 23-inch wheels emphasize this appearance.
With the self-driving cars of the future, headlights will not be a priority anymore, as a driver will rarely need the road to be brightly illuminated. It is another function of the lighting that takes on a more important role communicating with other road users, digital matrix luminous surfaces can use moving graphics to output clearly understandable signals about the driving condition and marking the vehicle itself. The Audi AI:ME lighting design integrates LED elements in the body in a high position above the wheel wells, where they are visible from all angles. This 360-degree communication is an important additional safety feature for pedestrians or cyclists. The graphics can be projected onto the road or a wall or just to illuminate the door area to ensure that occupants can enter or exit the vehicle safely.
As a level 4 vehicle, the Audi AI:ME is equipped with bright LED headlights and perfectly visible brake and tail lights for all those situations in which drivers take the wheel themselves. An automobile like the AI:ME will drive predominantly in the speed range between 20 and 70 km/h (12.4 and 43.5 mph) and will often have to remain mobile for hours without charging. For a city car, long ranges in terms of kilometers are less relevant than the ability to make good use of the operating time. A set of batteries with a storage capacity of 65-kWh is more than enough, a synchronous motor that has an output of 125 kW (170 metric hp). Adding brake energy recuperation to its comparatively low weight and the Audi AI:ME shows extremely low energy consumption even in city traffic. The body is made of a light-weight multi-material compound consisting of high-tech steel, aluminum, and plastic components, particularly in the attachments.
Future cars should be available and ready for use upon request and should ideally be custom tailored, premium customers still can demand that they have the option to order their automobiles with as many individual features as possible. The color, 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 ergonomic 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. like ordering 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.
The Audi AI:ME becomes a part of the user’s personal digital world, the daily commute from A to B turns into an enjoyable ride with free time. “Audi on demand” is available in metropolises on several continents and is already the perfect example of the future expansion of Audi’s offer into a global mobility service provider. With the simultaneous expansion and specialization of the vehicle fleet, this program will become even more attractive to customers with high demands in the future. The premium vehicle offers itself and the digital integration of the automobile and living environment will give the Audi brand a head start in this segment.