If you visit the CES in the gaming paradise of Las Vegas, which takes place in the first days of a new year, you think you are at a car show. Here, digitization in the automobile is more visible than at the car shows in Los Angeles, Geneva, Frankfurt or Detroit.
However, the highlights of consumer electronics also play an important role, but no longer the main role. Audi is one of the first manufacturers to discover the Consumer Electronic Show as a projection screen for innovative future developments. All major automakers are now present in Las Vegas.
This year, Audi is presenting technology that is extremely forward-looking. No longer a lead through technology, but through futuristic digital technologies. In this respect, the old Audi slogan is from lead by technology no longer applicable, but should have long been in leading by technology be replaced. Technology sounds like mechanics, technology like digitization.
Among other things, Audi shows the Audi AI: ME as a personal mobility partner, the empathetic Audi Intelligence Experience technology and the innovative 3D mixed reality head-up display.
Get in and slip away from the stress of the big city: The Audi AI: ME is an autonomously driving, fully networked "wellbeing" lounge for the megacities of tomorrow. The concept car enables its passengers to spend their time on board as they please and offers a wide range of options - communication, entertainment or simply relaxation. Audi is presenting new content and functions from this area at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The brand once again shows how customers will be able to use their time in an autonomous vehicle in the future and how the car will become a very personal mobility partner.
The Audi AI: ME belongs to the family of concept automobiles that started in 2017 - each of the four electrically powered vision vehicles is specially tailored to its clearly defined area of application: the Audi AI: CON for long-distance driving, the AI: RACE for racing and the AI: TRAIL for off-road.
The name AI: ME indicates that the user is connected to Audi Intelligence. The many new systems behind this abbreviation combine two things: the vehicle intelligence that enables automated driving with the interaction intelligence that makes the car a partner of its passengers. The systems "think" with and are capable of learning, and they also act proactively and individually. This enables the car to behave intelligently and empathetically towards its passengers. The Audi AI: ME detects preferences for air conditioning and interior lighting, for example, and also makes suggestions for ideal route guidance.
The operating concept: eye tracking and remote touch
AI: ME becomes a comfortable and empathetic "third living space" - next to the apartment and the workplace. AI: ME gives the passengers time because the car moves autonomously and without a driver. The inmates can use the free time, for example, for online shopping or to organize their free time. The concept car knows the wishes and needs of its passengers and can, for example, proactively suggest ordering dinner in the favorite restaurant. With eye tracking it is then possible to select and order the desired meal in the "Wellbeing" menu. The AI: ME knows the destination address and arrival time and coordinates the delivery independently. At CES 2020, Audi is demonstrating this concept as part of an automated journey.
Simply dive down and leave the hectic everyday life behind - this is also possible in AI: ME. He has two VR glasses on board, with which the passengers in the showcase can glide virtually through a harmonious mountain landscape. The technology is immersive, which means that the viewer is increasingly immersed in the VR world. In the showcase, the virtual content - which shows a real environment - is adapted in real time to the driving movements of the car. The immersive VR technology quickly combines the content shown with relevant data points of the car - such as acceleration and steering. The passenger feels right in the middle of the action and can thus escape the stressful events around him. This makes the journey in AI: ME a special experience - comparable to a visit to a wellness lounge. Furthermore, passengers and visitors to the trade fair can see views of Las Vegas in the "Discover" menu on the OLED monitor, backed up with individually tailored information such as hotel or restaurant recommendations.
The car and all communication and interaction systems are operated either by voice input or eye control, the so-called eye tracking. The three-dimensional OLED monitor, which lies under the windshield and uses the entire width of the cockpit, is primarily used for dialogue with the eye control. Certain function menus can be selected by eye contact and then release further, differentiated operating levels. A small infrared camera for the driver and front passenger observes the muscle movements under the eyes and recognizes the exact line of sight. The passengers confirm their entries via touch-sensitive fields in the door sill ("Remote Touch").
Radically new line: exterior design and interior concept
The Audi AI: ME shows its new character from afar. Its wedge-shaped exterior design with the striking, horizontal angle in the side windows is reminiscent of the Audi AI: CON concept car from 2017. Solutions such as the brand-typical single-frame grill and the widely extended wheel arches create a striking appearance, underlined by 23-inch wheels . The AI: ME not only communicates with its passengers, but also with other road users: the concept of the show car provides LED units and micro-matrix projectors that emit warning and information symbols.
With a length of 4,30 meters and a width of 1,90 meters, the Audi AI: ME appears compact on the outside. However, its wheelbase of 2,77 meters and the height of 1,52 meters allow a room that is as spacious as it is comfortable. For most trips, only the front single armchairs - inspired by classic lounge chairs - are used. If necessary, two more people can be seated on the rear bench, the backrests of which extend in a U-shape.
The interior materials are dominated by surfaces and structures from the living area, filigree wooden struts in the headlining give the impression of a pergola. If controls such as instruments, steering wheel and pedals are not used during an autonomous drive (level 4), they automatically withdraw.
More information about the Audi AI: ME can be found at: https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/de/pressemitteilungen/mobilitaet-fuer-megacities-audi-aime-11484