Audi unveils AI:ME self-driving EV concept at Shanghai

At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is
introducing
the Audi AI:ME, an electric showcar offering
compact dimensions, a spacious, futuristic interior, and the
ability to drive autonomously at level 4. The Audi AI:ME offers a
broad range of high-tech features for communication, entertainment,
or relaxation.


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Audi took a targeted approach to tailoring the specifications of
the AI:ME to the scope of use of a city car. This means that
extreme acceleration values and top highway speeds are just as
obsolete as high cornering speeds and ranges that are suitable for
driving long distances.

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 at a time without charging.
However, long ranges in terms of kilometers are less relevant than
the ability to make good use of the operating time.


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The engineers therefore drew on a comparatively simple, yet
light, basic configuration. A 65 kWh battery unit is sufficient for
meeting these requirements. A permanently excited synchronous motor
that can mobilize 125 kW (170 metric hp) if necessary operates in
the area of the rear axle of the AI:ME. A fraction of this is
usually sufficient for keeping up with the flow of city traffic.
Thanks to brake energy recuperation and its comparatively low
weight, the Audi AI:ME exhibits extremely low energy consumption
even in city traffic.

The axles and other components of the suspension are found in
the portfolio of compact sister models of the Audi portfolio. The
tried and tested combination of adaptive dampers and small unsprung
masses ensures good ride comfort in the city. The body is made of a
light-weight multi-material compound consisting of high-tech steel,
aluminum, and plastic components, particularly in the
attachments.

With an exterior length of 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) and a width of
1,90 meters (6.2 ft), the Audi AI:ME takes up as much traffic space
as a present-day compact car. However, the wheelbase of 2.77 meters
(3 ft) and the height of 1.52 meters (5 ft) indicate interior
dimensions that are more likely to be found in the next higher
class at least. This is made possible by the architecture of the
electric drive. It allows for short overhangs and a large-volume
interior without a prop shaft tunnel.

For the occupants, the compact drive package offers a maximum
amount of objectively available space, spatial comfort, and a great
deal of variability. The Audi AI:ME is designed as a 2
plus-x-seater. Its layout relies on a variety of configurations for
seat positions and stowage space. While only the individual seats
at the front will be used during most journeys, the car offers
space for up to four people in the front and on the rear bench if
necessary.

Audi AI: on the way to automated mobility. Audi AI is the
cipher for a variety of electronic systems that relieve strain on
drivers and simultaneously offer them new possibilities to use the
time spent in the car. To this end, Audi AI also uses strategies
and technologies from the field of artificial intelligence and
machine learning. Audi AI also combines vehicle intelligence, which
makes automated driving possible in the first place, and
interaction intelligence, which turns the vehicle into the
occupants’ partner. The name of the Audi AI:ME thus already makes
the connection between AI and the users themselves.

Audi AI systems are capable of learning and thinking, while also
being proactive and personal. With Audi AI, models will be both
intelligent and empathetic in the future. They will be able to
continually interact with their surroundings and passengers, and
thus adapt themselves to the requirements of those on board.

Automated driving at level 4. The Audi AI:ME is designed
for use in the city and for driving at SAE level 4. Although
systems with level 4 do not require any assistance on the part of
the driver, their function is limited to a specific area such as
highways or a specially equipped area in inner cities.

In these places, the driver can completely transfer the task of
driving to the system. The driver needs to resume the task only
when the car leaves the area defined for fully automated driving.
By contrast to the Audi AIcon design vision introduced in 2017
(earlier
post
), a vehicle with level-5 function that is always fully
autonomous, the Audi AI:ME is also equipped with the traditional
steering wheel and pedal controls.


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The vehicle and as the communication and interaction systems are
operated by means of eye tracking, voice input, and touch-sensitive
fields in the door rail. They are integrated into the surface,
making them invisible. The lighting is activated only when
approached, and guides the user’s gaze to the functional
surfaces.

There is a multifunctional, three-dimensional OLED monitor that
runs below and along the entire length of the windshield and is
used primarily in dialogue with eye-tracking control.
Terminologically coded function menus, for example for navigation
or infotainment, 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.

There are VR goggles on board for the visual output of the
infotainment system. They turn Internet use, watching movies, or
even interactive gaming into a fascinating experience for the
passengers. Audi demonstrated the possibilities that await us in
the future with the Holoride system at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
Here, the vehicle’s own movement is detected by a sensor system
and then integrated interactively into the visual course of a game.
Passengers feel like they are literally in the midst of the
action.

Source: FS – Transport 2
Audi unveils AI:ME self-driving EV concept at Shanghai



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