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