Audi’s autonomous fleet
● Brand makes big move towards autonomy with batch of Level 4 ‘mind-off’ vehicles based on Aicon concept
Aicon EV leads bold pilot for self-driving cars by 2021
AUDI will launch a pilot fleet of autonomous cars in 2021, based on the Aicon concept first displayed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The news was confirmed by company boss Rupert Stadler and represents a significant step in the move to fully autonomous vehicles.
“Our vision of the new premium is why – in just three years from now – we will present our first autonomous pilot scheme,” Stadler said. “This fleet will be based on the Audi Aicon.”
The number of vehicles to be launched under the pilot scheme has not been confirmed, but every Aicon will feature advanced Level 4 ‘mind-off’ autonomous technology.
The Aicon is a fully electric fourdoor 2+2 designed to showcase the firm’s future styling direction and fully autonomous Level 5 driving. It also gives us an idea of how Audi will approach interior packaging when there’s no need for a steering wheel or pedals.
However, due to the fact that the 2021 pilot test fleet will require some level of human interaction, the vehicles used will be adapted to include more conventional controls.
“Autonomous cars make our customers feel more autonomous as well,” Stadler told us. “This is where we expand our leadership in autonomous driving.”
The project will mark 50 years of Audi’s famous ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ mantra, which translates in English to ‘Progress through Technology’. While unconfirmed, it’s likely that initial tests will take place in China, where Audi is also looking to trial advanced 5Gconnected Vehicle to X (V2X) technology.
“This is not one car. It’s a community,” said an official. “It allows communication with people, facilities and cars.”
Aicon seen at Frankfurt show is set to make up fleet of autonomous EVS
“Electric Aicon showcases Audi’s future styling and fully autonomous driving”