Audi has unveiled its new showcar the AI:ME at Auto Shanghai and outlined how it embraces the company’s vision for the future of autonomous driving in cities.
The German car giant has revealed how, alongside the AIcon, the AI:ME has been central to its work and research under the banner of Audi AI. Areas of specific interest include vehicle intelligence to boost automated driving and interaction intelligence to make cars more like a partner to the occupant.
AI:ME has been specifically designed for use in a city environment and is capable of level 4 driving, the second highest level on the international scale for increasing automation. However, as the function of such systems is currently limited to specially equipped areas of highways and inner cities, the vehicle still includes traditional features like a steering wheel and pedal controls.
The design of the AI:ME’s interior is influenced by the fact that vehicles are often a third living space for drivers alongside home and workspaces. Emphasis has been placed on the automated abilities of the car, as control elements retract and magnets are included to serve as cup or plate holders in case you want to eat as you ride through an automated zone.
Seating is also inspired by lounge chairs, while eye-tracking, voice input and touch controls on doors are used for accessing various systems. Virtual reality goggles are also included on board for use alongside the AI:ME’s infotainment system.
Autonomous driving has understandably been a major issue at this year’s Auto Shanghai, with a host of manufacturers joining Audi in looking at the issue. For example, Skoda unveiled its VISION iV SUV concept which includes features which allow the vehicle to drive and park itself in certain situations.