Typically you would expect a car manufacturer to launch a new model at a car show, wouldn’t you? Well Audi have switched it up. In Earlier this month Audi launched their AI:ME concept at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It makes sense, as the line between car and appliance are slowly being blurred as electronic powertrains takeover and autonomy increases.
This isn’t really a car, though, it’s being described as a “third living space” which sits in the transitional role between our home and our workspace. The concept is that this car is a place where owners can sit and relax, with the ability to use eye-tracking movement to order food. VR goggles will be supplied so owners can enjoy a virtual flight across mountain ranges while being transported across town, with the movements of the virtual reality reflecting the movements of the vehicle in real life.
A car that understands empathy
The AI:ME is being marketed as a car that understands its users’ habits and preferences, while also boasting the intelligence levels required to increase passenger comfort and safety. It’s a car that is looking out for you. The computer inside the AI:ME is incredibly complicated but above all else, it’s a great listener. The car will remember preferred destinations, times and dates, preferred routes, traffic situations and so on. The car will be able to acknowledge the owners prefered settings, such as seat position, media, temperature and even fragrancing. If desired, the empathetic Audi can even replicate your preferred driving style and characteristics, so you feel as comfortable as possible in your third living space.
The future of the industry is electric and connected
Audi’s current lineup already benefits from a range of cars using their third generation modular-infotainment platform, or MIB 3, which is 10x more powerful than the platform it replaces, and this will be the core brain that the AI:ME is built upon. Features like augmented holographic sat-nav directions are already in the pipeline for mainstream cars, and you will soon have holographic arrows floating up to 70 metres down the road, so you’ll never miss a turning.
The AI:ME took the headline slot on the Audi stand at CES displaying all the future innovation we can look forward to from the German automaker, but it was flanked by the Audi e-tron Sportback which embodies all the modern features available in the latest generation of Audi electronic vehicles.
We were also teased with a concept car in the body of the upcoming Q4 e-Tron - a car we’ve had very little information about at this stage but we’re certain we’ll be hearing a lot more of over the next 6 months.
The AI:ME is a car for the future. We don’t yet know how long we’ll have to wait for this car to become available in its current form or under a similar guise, but it’s certainly worth getting exciting about. No word on prices or release dates of anything just yet, but we can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in store for us…