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CES: Audi car gets empathy



Open the door, take a seat, and get away from the urban stress? That’s the promise of Audi’s AI:ME, a concept car that represents a personal “third living space,” alongside our homes and workplaces. And that means the car is familiar with the desires and needs of its users. 

Can a car be empathetic? The “Audi Intelligence Experience” shows how it’s done: The car knows its users and their habits and uses intelligent functions combined with artificial intelligence to increase passengers’ safety, wellbeing, and comfort. The self-learning navigation system, already integrated in the current generation of MMI systems, saves preferred destinations, connects them with the date, time, and current traffic situation, and derives suggested routes from this data. 

In the future, the car will also conduct a precise analysis of the functions and settings that its users prefer, ranging from the seat position, media, route guidance, and temperature to the fragrancing of the interior. After a short time, the “empathetic Audi” becomes familiar with users’ preferences and implements them autonomously. If desired, it even bases its settings on users’ condition by observing their driving style and vital functions. 

The car offers a range of high-tech experiences, with the highlight being virtual navigation arrows that appear in the road ahead. A navigation arrow that points exactly into the side road where the destination is located will become reality with a 3D mixed reality head-up display Audi developed with Samsung. As with with 3D television, two views are generated of each picture: one pixel for the left eye and the neighboring pixel for the right eye. To the driver, the pictures of the 3D mixed reality heads-up display appear to be floating at a distance of 8 to 10 meters in front of the car. Through clever representation, the apparent distance is increased to more than 70 meters. This means that navigational aids appear in the road ahead, and the eyes, accustomed to a long-range view, do not have to refocus.

Passengers can also enjoy a wellness experience in the AI:ME: A pair of VR goggles in the car allows the occupants to take a virtual flight across a spectacular mountain landscape. The technology adapts virtual content to the movements of the vehicle in real time. 

The exhibits at the Audi booth at CES range from the Audi AI:ME vision vehicle to the near-production-level show car Audi Q4 e-tron concept with a 12.3-inch touchscreen to the Audi e-tron Sportback electric vehicle with digital matrix LED headlights.