With the AI:ME show car and new technologies ready for series production, Audi brought its concept of future mobility to Las Vegas, at one of the world’s biggest specialised fairs for consumer electronics.
At the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, the car has been put forward as “third living space,” alongside our homes and workplaces. Audi interpreted this concept through its electric and autonomous show car AI:ME - passengers simply get in and can fully relax and escape their hectic day-to-day lives.
Passengers can use technology such as eye tracking, based on two small infrared cameras, to communicate with the car intuitively or virtual reality goggles to enjoy a relaxing and immersive experience in a mountain landscape. The technology adapts virtual content to the movements of the vehicle in real time. In addition, the car can also order users’ favourite food and have it delivered on time at the right place, coordinated by the car’s navigation data.
Making cars smart and empathetic
The Audi Intelligence Experience project makes the car smart and empathetic - the car knows its user and their habits and uses intelligent functions combined with artificial intelligence to increase the passengers’ safety, wellbeing, and comfort. The self-learning navigation system is already integrated in the current generation of the MMI systems. It saves preferred destinations, connects them with the date, time, and current traffic situation, and derives suggested routes from this data.
Thanks to Audi Intelligent Experience, in the future the car will also be able to memorise its user’s preferences, ranging from the seat position, temperature, media, lighting and air moisture to the fragrancing of the interior. After a short period of analysis, the empathetic Audi familiarises itself with each different user’s preferences and can implement them autonomously.
2020 will see the debut of new navigation systems that point exactly into the side road where the destination is located: the innovative 3D mixed reality head-up display from Audi, developed in cooperation with Samsung, combines real-life and virtual objects and images.
Just like with a 3D TV, two views are generated of each picture: one pixel for the left eye and the neighboring pixel for the right eye. The 3D technology detects the user’s eye movement through tracking and adjusts the pixels so that they can precisely reach each eye. To the driver, the pictures of the 3D mixed reality head-up display appear to be floating at a distance of 8 to 10 meters; through clever representation, the apparent distance is even increased to over 70 meters. The driver’s eyes do not have to refocus - an added value in terms of safety.
With a view on safety, the transparent display on demand has been a further Audi highlight in Las Vegas.
The screen is 15 cm high, 122 cm wide, and partially embedded into the instrument panel. It offers two layers: a transparent OLED display and a black layer for a particularly deep shade of black. Sections of the display that are not required for showing information remain transparent. They give the impression of a glass pane and thus offer an unobstructed view of the road.
The modular infotainment platform and lighting systems
The car of the future will offer intelligent networking. However, the new 3rd generation modular infotainment platform, or MIB 3 for short, already offers a processor operating ten times faster than the MIB 2. This provides significant improvements in terms of route planning and traffic forecasts. New navigation functions will also be added over the course of 2020, with further improvements in accuracy and flexibility.
Audi also presented the latest innovations in lighting technology at CES 2020 from its Human-Centric Lighting project. The project’s aim is to stimulate the passengers on board and support their concentration and memory. Studies have shown how specific lighting setups can lead to significant improvements in this area.
When it comes to external lights, digital matrix LED headlights are at the cutting edge of technology and available for the first time in a mass-production vehicle. Their design is based on a technology called DMD (digital micromirror device) which has, at its heart, a tiny chip containing around one million micromirrors.
With the help of electrostatic fields, each individual micromirror can be tilted up to 5,000 times per second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is directed either via the lenses onto the road or into an absorber to produce a darkened area. Breaking down the beam into tiny pixels allows lighting to be delivered with extraordinary precision and, once again, contributes to improved road safety.
Source: Audi AG