This is the Audi AI:ME concept, an electric car that’ll be the inspiration for Audi’s answer to the BMW i3. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Audi AI:ME styling
You can’t look at the Audi AI:ME without spotting its matrix LEDs that stretch from the front to the back of the car as if it has broken out in a multi-coloured rash. Up front, you get a flush grille while the sides of the car are dominated by huge windows and 23-inch alloy wheels.
Audi AI:ME Price and release date
The Audi AI:ME is a concept car but you can expect to see a production version in the next couple of years. It’s likely to have a price tag of around £35,000 but there will be a long list of options that means it could cost a lot more.
Audi AI:ME technology
Audi sees the AI:ME as the future of mobility because it’s a car that you’ll share rather than own. Using an App, you’ll be able to summon it to your location autonomously or prebook it in advance. Once you’re done you just park up and leave it for the next user.
The AI:ME is level 4 autonomous, so it can drive itself on the motorway and in specific areas in town. Because you’ll barely drive it, Audi puts no emphasis on performance so the 170hp electric motor is tasked merely with “keeping up with the flow of city traffic”.
You can also get idea of what we can expect from Audi’s infotainment in the future. Instead of using a touchscreen to navigate its display, the AI:ME tracks your eye movements so you can navigate through 3D OLED display just by looking at it.
The AI:ME comes complete with a killer sound system that encircles the cabin with speakers. Along with pumping out your tunes it can also cancel out exterior noise to give the interior the ambiance of a German Yoga retreat.
Audi AI:ME Interior
Audi calls the AI:ME a ‘third living space’ alongside your house and workplace. As a result, there’s no steering wheel when the car’s in autonomous mode (it folds away to leave a table) and the interior is more like a lounge with slabs of wood trims, wool upholstery, sofa-like seating and moveable tables – you even get plants!
The AI:ME’s interior won’t just be a nice place to sit, it’ll be a nice place to breath. That’s because to get into the cabin, air has first to pass through sophisticated filters that remove odour. The air’s then improved by cabin plants which replace horrible CO2s with lovely oxygen.
Audi AI:ME driving
Audi is positioning the AI:ME as city a car, so range – how far it can go between charges – it claims, isn’t as important as usability around town. That said the concept car has a battery unit with a storage capacity of 65 kilowatt hours, good for about 100 miles, and a 170hp motor, which should make it ideal for zipping around the city.