When it comes to the car of the future, there is no getting around autonomous driving. With a four-door design study, the Aicon, Audi also presented a completely autonomous vehicle at the IAA in Frankfurt, which does not require a steering wheel or pedals. The design concept is designed for purely electric operation and is intended to cover distances between 700 and 800 kilometers with just one battery charge - still purely theoretically.
The luxury limousine offers in its vehicle cabin - as the manufacturer so beautifully puts it - luxury and amenities that can also be found in a first-class aircraft cabin. The Audi Aicon is to become a “prestige automobile of tomorrow”, which is aimed at particularly discerning customers.
With a wheelbase of 3.470 millimeters, the Audi Aicon is a full 240 millimeters longer than the long-wheelbase version of the new Audi A8. The driver's cab is characterized by large glass surfaces at the front and rear as well as outwardly by curved side windows. The wheel arches on display are intended to emphasize Audi's quattro genes and, above all, to accommodate the large 26-inch wheels.
Probably the most striking feature of the Audi Aicon? The front headlights as well as the rear lights and other light units were deliberately omitted. Instead, the Aicon lives through completely digitally playable display areas with triangular pixel segments based on the Audi AI symbol. The Aicon has large light fields around the single frame, in which pixels are also placed. These allow different graphics, animations or information representations in all colors. In addition, the Aicon should have light segments to the right and left of the single frame that can widen or narrow like eyes and follow people or road users with their “eyes”. The display areas should be particularly useful for road users such as pedestrians or cyclists, as they can play warning animations and thus point out dangerous situations. Beamer modules should illuminate the street and the surrounding area and project signals onto the ground. Thanks to laser and radar sensors, the Audi Aicon finds its way safely and autonomously.
The interior of the car should impress with its width. The absence of the steering wheel and the classic dashboard underline the feeling of autonomous driving. As a "2 + 2" seater, the Aicon has an upholstered, two-seater bench integrated into the back wall; only the two front “armchairs” are designed for maximum comfort and space. They can be moved lengthways by up to 500 millimeters. Thanks to a deep-pile carpet on the floor and the architecture of the seats, passengers should feel like they are in a mobile living room. Of course, the communication and control elements have also arrived in the autonomous world: automatic greeting of passengers or "eye tracking" - the gaze detection by sensors should offer passengers every comfort.
The drive of the concept vehicle consists of four electric motors in the area of the front and rear axles, each of which drives one wheel and thus enables all-wheel drive. A total of 260 kW (354 PS) and 550 Nm of torque are created in this way. The energy storage of the Aicon should be solid-state batteries, which should have a higher energy capacity than lithium-ion batteries. A range of 700 to 800 kilometers should be achieved through them. A high-voltage system with 800 V should be able to charge the battery unit to 30 percent in less than 80 minutes. Inductive charging should also be possible in the Aicon.
When and whether the Audi Aicon - as shown - will go into series production, however, is still open.
Source and photos: Audi
Copyright image material Audi
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