At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is introducing a visionary mobility concept for the megacities of the future: the concept car Audi AI:ME, offers compact dimensions, a spacious, futuristic interior, and the ability to drive autonomously at level 4. This allows the occupants to do what they like with their time on board. The Audi AI:ME offers a broad range of high-tech features for communication, entertainment, or simply relaxation.
The concept: compact architecture – electric drive
With an exterior length of 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) and a width of 1,90 meters (6.2 ft), the Audi AI:ME takes up as much traffic space as a present-day compact car. However, the wheelbase of 2.77 meters (3 ft) and the height of 1.52 meters (5 ft) indicate interior dimensions that are more likely to be found in the next higher class at least. This is made possible by the architecture of the electric drive. It allows for short overhangs and a large-volume interior without a propeller shaft tunnel. The drive unit is positioned on the rear axle and mobilizes 125 kW (170 metric hp).
For the occupants, the compact drive package offers a maximum amount of objectively available space, spatial comfort, and a great deal of variability. The Audi AI:ME is designed as a 2 plus-x-seater. Its layout relies on a variety of configurations for seat positions and stowage space. While only the individual seats at the front will be used during most journeys, the car offers space for up to four people in the front and on the rear bench if necessary.
Automated driving at level 4: Relax while gliding through the city
What is long established in rail transportation and even aviation is at the threshold of a breakthrough in automotive transportation—automated driving. The Audi AI:ME is designed for use in the city and for driving at what is known as level 4. This is the second-highest level on a standardized international scale for increasing automation. Although systems with level 4 do not require any assistance on the part of the driver, their function is limited to a specific area—such as highways or a specially equipped area in inner cities. In these places, the driver can completely transfer the task of driving to the system. The driver needs to resume the task only when the car leaves the area defined for fully automated driving. By contrast to the Audi AIcon, a vehicle with level-5 function that is always fully autonomous, the Audi AI:ME is therefore equipped with the traditional steering wheel and pedal control elements in addition.
This means that the car, as well as the remaining road users, will drive automatically in a defined traffic area equipped with the corresponding infrastructure in the future. Self-regulating and self-controlling flows of traffic allow the vehicle to glide along calmly, avoiding heavy longitudinal or lateral acceleration. This is an important requirement for the occupants of the car to be able to detach themselves mentally from the traffic around them.
Audi on request: innovative offer concepts
After the Audi AIcon, which debuted at the International Motor Show in 2017, and the radical Audi PB 18 sports car, which was introduced in the summer of 2018, the Audi AI:ME is now the brand’s third vision vehicle to present an offer for use in clearly defined areas (“use cases”). While the Audi AIcon offers the qualities of a business jet for long-distance drives, the PB 18 is a vehicle for the occasional trip to the race track. The Audi AI:ME is the perfect companion for use in conurbations. A fourth vision vehicle will complete the concept quartet at the International Motor Show in September 2019.