More and more people are living in cities around the world – urbanization is one of the megatrends of mobility of the future. Audi is working on new ideas for urban spaces in order to make the automobile part of a new ecosystem, the intelligent, sustainable and livable city. Piloted driving and parking is assuming a key role here.
Urbanization is one of the megatrends that is influencing mobility. New ideas for urban spaces are required worldwide. Audi has been working on these kinds of concepts for many years – with the aim of converting the automobile into an integral part of intelligent, sustainable and livable cities.
Set up in 2010, the Audi Urban Future Initiative has established itself as a think tank for urban mobility of the future. As a global forum it brings together experts from various cultures and disciplines, including urban planners, data scientists, sociologists or traffic strategists. Here they discuss new solutions for mobility in the world’s megacities, focusing on entirely different topics.
The Audi Urban Future Initiative gave rise to the strategic business unit Audi Urban Solutions in 2016. It develops in close collaboration with selected pilot cities scalable, urban business models where Audi technologies and services become part of traffic management. Taking into account local circumstances and cultural characteristics, Audi Urban Solutions develops solutions that guarantee a sustainable urban mobility structure based on urban needs.
Audi is actively involved in urban planning in the booming city of Somerville near Boston (USA), for instance. Together with the city and with real estate developers active locally, Audi is working on the intelligent, sustainable integration of technologies and services into an integrated mobility system. In the Assembly Row district, for example, an investor is planning a new quarter with a mix of housing, work and leisure facilities. Audi intends to create parking facilities for piloted parking cars – the driver gets out at the entrance, their Audi automatically moves into a free parking space. These kinds of parking garages do not require stairwells or elevators, the cars can be parked closely next to and over one another and maneuver in minimal space. Up to 62 percent of the space can therefore be saved. Another idea from Audi relates to the usage of cars: Instead of being stationary 95 percent of the time, they could be used by commuters in the morning and the evening, while business people could drive them during the day. Electrically powered e-tron models would be charged inductively in accordance with usage. This intelligent fleet management could free up further parking space.
The goals are clearly defined: Come up with intelligent solutions that put people center stage, plan infrastructures optimally and get people safely and comfortably to their destinations. And Audi knows that these smart solutions will only be accepted through dialog, allowing cities to plan their future sustainability over the long term.
Customers in the city of the future will increasingly demand flexibility and sharing models in the mobility segment. Audi has garnered experience as a mobility service provider in international pilot projects. Services for the global markets have been developed from these projects.
Many urbanites want to use cars, but not necessarily own them. In Germany, Audi has two packages: As part of Audi select, customers can choose and drive up to three different models a year from a pool of nearly new cars. The monthly installments include incidental costs such as tax, insurance and seasonal tires.
Audi shared fleet is a flexible business fleet solution. Employees can use cars from the pool for business travel. If required, they can also drive the cars privately, say after work or on the weekend. That reduces downtime and improves utilization. The process is managed via an online booking portal; Audi looks after refueling, cleaning and servicing the fleet.
The Audi on demand pilot project got underway in San Francisco (USA) in spring 2016. It combines the strengths of leasing, car sharing and car hire, and supplements them with a customized premium service. Participants can book their desired Audi for hours or days using a smartphone app. A concierge service brings the car to any point in the city area and collects it again later.
In San Francisco and Hong Kong you also have a mobility service dubbed Audi at home. Here participants have access to a fleet of Audi models in selected residential areas. The all-inclusive service even includes billing toll and parking charges through the customers’ account.
The mobility of the future will provide numerous new options for sharing premium mobility – for instance, Audi automobiles will drive autonomously to their users in the not too distant future. The company intends to develop a digital ecosystem which accompanies customers intelligently, takes over their transportation tasks for them and always provides them with the optimum mode of transportation.