AI, the new buzz at Audi

The AICON and the ELAINE are de­sign stud­ies of a fully elec­tric and au­ton­o­mous fu­ture from Audi


IMAG­INE A FU­TURE WHERE you drive to work, and as soon as you get on the high­way, au­topi­lot takes over, al­low­ing you to sit back and re­lax while the car changes lanes and over­takes slower drivers. The car knows what you like, so it plays the right type of mu­sic. You ar­rive at the of­fice, fresh as a daisy. You get down and the car parks it­self. Only that it doesn’t stay there. While you work, it does your er­rands for you. It col­lects the dry clean­ing, picks up your kids maybe and gets take­away for you. And by the time you get out of of­fice, it is there, wait­ing for you. It takes you home and no, it won’t com­plain about the traf­fic nor will it un­nerve you by driv­ing too fast or too slow. It stud­ies your driv­ing over time and no­tices the pat­tern and style of your driv­ing and es­sen­tially mim­ics that. It knows about your choices be­cause it gath­ers data from ev­ery­where. And it pre­dicts what you want.

All this might seem like wish­ful think­ing, but Audi clearly doesn’t think so. In fact, go­ing by the pre­sen­ta­tion Audi made at the Frank­furt mo­tor show, all this is just a few short years away. Call­ing it AIAudi In­tel­li­gence, Audi in­tro­duced the AICON and the ELAINE, two cars that would be Level 4 au­ton­o­mous, ready within no time. The Elaine is a more fleshed out ver­sion of the E-tron Sportback that Audi showed us a while back. It has el­e­ments that could find its way into a pro­duc­tion car soon. The Elaine has three elec­tric mo­tors that churn out a heady 496bhp of power from the 95kWh bat­tery. An­other fea­ture of the Elaine is what Audi calls Audi Fit Driver sys­tem. It mon­i­tors the vi­tal signs of the driver, giv­ing him/ her a mas­sage, ad­justs light­ing and tem­per­a­ture ac­cord­ing to the driver’s body tem­per­a­ture and heart rate. Audi in­tends to roll out 3 elec­tric cars by 2020 and the ELAINE will find its way in some form among the three cars.

The AICON how­ever, looks even fur­ther ahead into the fu­ture and fea­tures no steer­ing wheel or ped­als. Also, it doesn’t have any seat­belts be­cause by then the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try would have en­gi­neered them out of ex­is­tence. It is ex­pected to com­pletely drive it­self and wouldn’t need any help from the oc­cu­pants at all. It il­lu­mi­nates the way for­ward with LED lights and com­mu­ni­cates with its sur­round­ings to en­sure that the driver can take naps while driv­ing if he wishes to.

With the two con­cepts that Audi un­veiled, its vi­sion for the fu­ture is cer­tainly a world away from what we are used to but then again aren’t the best con­cepts just that – a vi­sion of the fu­ture we couldn’t have imag­ined?

It will ad­just light­ing and tem­per­a­ture ac­cord­ing to the driver’s heart


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