The brand new Audi AI:ME idea has made its public debut on the Shanghai motor present. It previews the agency’s imaginative and prescient of shared city mobility sooner or later and in addition offers hints to a forthcoming A3-sized compact electrical mannequin.
The mannequin is the third of 4 ideas the producer is producing to indicate its imaginative and prescient for shared motoring in 10 years’ time, with the concept subscribers select the automobile they want for any given second. It follows the 2017 Aicon idea, designed for inner-city journeys and final 12 months’s PB18 E-tron sports activities automobile.
Whereas the PB18 E-tron doubtless previews Audi’s future R8 successor, the styling of the AI:ME hints at a compact crossover. The agency says that it isn’t constructed on a selected platform, however at four,300cm lengthy, 1,500cm excessive and 1,900cm broad, it’s related in dimension to the Volkswagen ID hatch and Seat el-Born EVs, each of which use the VW Group’s MEB electric-vehicle platform.
Audi chief designer Andreas Mindt mentioned the automobile was styled in such a means as a result of “city vehicles all seem like phone containers, and we didn’t desire a machine like that.” He additionally added, “It’s nonetheless easy and boxy, with clear strains.”
When requested whether or not Audi would launch an MEB-based EV related in dimension to the AI:ME, Mindt mentioned, “We’re engaged on this. Let’s say there could be. I’m not allowed to say an excessive amount of, however possibly. Why not?” He added that a number of design parts of the idea can be seen on Audi fashions within the close to future.
The AI:ME is designed for performance in tight metropolis environments, with a compact crossover-like physique supposed to maximise manoeuvrability and visibility. Unusually, the highest part of the home windows – distinguished by a particular line operating across the automobile – is wider than the underside half, which Mindt defined is to make sure “the widest level is the place your head is, the place you need essentially the most house.” Solely the underside half of the home windows could be opened, which Mindt mentioned is designed to direct the air to your physique reasonably than your face.
The outside additionally options entrance and rear LED lights, which have been designed to ship indicators to pedestrians and different automobiles via gentle sequences and hues. The AI:ME has a 65kWh under-floor battery, which drives a 169hp motor on the rear axle.
Because the idea is designed to permit for Stage four autonomy, the inside is especially future-focused, with a retractable steering wheel to maximise house in autonomous mode. There are two tables for practicality, a meals storage unit and magnetic cupholders. A big storage space within the dashboard and the door cubbies are all open in order to scale back the prospect of leaving private belongings in shared vehicles.
A lot of the automobile’s infotainment and methods are operated via a big augmented actuality show. In autonomous mode, this show could be managed – both by gesture or by taking a look at it utilizing built-in eye-tracking cameras. The methods can be operated through contact panels that are constructed into the doorways.
The inside supplies are designed to be smooth and tactile, whereas reside vegetation are constructed into the dashboard and panoramic roof, to focus on the in-built air filtration system.