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Autonomous driving: Audi introduces concepts for the driverless car

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 | Gadgets

Audi, at the International Automobile Exhibition in Frankfurt, presents concepts for the mobility of the future. The driver plays less and less a role.

Elaine and Aicon are the two concept studies for the automated driving of steps four and five. Elaine is a preview of the next generation of electric cars, which should be ready for series production in the early 2020s. Aicon, on the other hand, is a glimpse into an automotive future that has little in common with the car today.
The Audi A89 has a staupiloten
In three steps, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer wants to enter the automotive future: the first is the Audi A8. The standard car has systems that enable highly-automated driving: In the traffic jam on the highway, the driver can give the car the stop-and- Traffic and devote themselves to more pleasurable events. Or rather, he could. Because of the current legal situation there is the car for the time being without the Staupiloten.

        
    Elaine: Audis concept car for the fully automated driving. (Photo: Werner Pluta / Golem.de)

However, Audi has already developed a prototype for fully-automated driving: the Audi Elaine is to drive itself up to 130 kilometers per hour, not only on the motorway, but also on the highway or on multi-lane expressways in the city. The car can, for example, automatically change the lane or overtake. The drivers can relax and relax: "They can not afford to be active anymore," says Arnold Kieferle, UI / UX designer at Audi, in conversation with Golem.de.

The seat moves back
Relaxed reclining means: seat and center console drive backwards. The driver has more space to work on the road or to watch a movie on the large display on the dashboard. The Audi AI system (AI = Artificial Intelligence) can be controlled using Pia, the new personal intelligent assistant.

The system is activated via the AI ​​key. The functions can then be called to the keyword "Hey Pia" by voice command. If the driver complains that it is too warm, Pia replies: "No problem, I will shut down the temperature, if it's still too warm, let me know." If he sighs, his day was exhausting, she urges him to sit back and start the massage function in the seat back. "That should do you good"
The driver must be able to take over the tax
It is not enough to fall asleep: if the car is overloaded with a situation such as a construction site, the driver must be able to take control within ten seconds. The driver then receives a warning, seat and center console return to the starting position, so that it can steer again.
Pia should be able to learn and be aware of the preferences of the driver, such as what music he likes. Pia – or rather the on-board computer, the central driver's assistant control unit (zFAS) – evaluates driving data as well as data from the outside, such as traffic announcements or traffic forecasts. This allows Pia to make suggestions or give recommendations, such as setting the driving mode.
The car should park independently
Elaine finally comes out completely without a driver: he can park his car in a marked area, the so-called AI Zone, and leave it to himself. Elaine then looks for a parking lot, for example, to the car wash or to the loading column.

Elaine is based on the E-Tron Sportback Concept, which was presented in spring in Shanghai. The car has three electric motors, one motor on the front axle, two on the rear axle. Together they have an output of 320 kilowatts. In the boost mode, 50 kilowatts will be available again. This could be offered as an addon, comparable to Teslas Ludicrous fashion.
Elaine charges with cable or induction
The vehicle will have a 95-kilowatt hour battery, which allows a range of 500 kilometers according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). This corresponds to a range of around 355 kilometers according to the stricter driving cycle of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Loaded by induction or by cable. In the high-speed mode with 300 kilowatts, the battery should be full in 20 to 30 minutes.
According to Audi, the car will be ready for series production within a few years. The second concept car Audi Aicon is much more advanced in the future.

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