Audi Elaine concept car – highly automated for the future

A familiar face – The exterior of the Audi Elaine concept car debuted just a few months ago. In May 2017, Audi presented the celebrated Audi e-tron Sportback design study and technology demonstrator at Auto Shanghai in China. The IAA debutant shares its body line, electric drive and not least its distinctive exterior lighting with the precursor to the second production electric car from Audi.

23-inch wheels in a technical 6-spoke design highlight the confident presence of the SUV coupe. An exterior length of 4.90 meters (16.1 ft), a width of 1.98 meters (6.5 ft) and a height of 1.53 meters (5.0 ft) with a wheelbase of 2.93 meters (9.6 ft) position the Audi Elaine in the C segment, close to the Audi A7. The interior is bright and designed for simplicity. Functions are clearly structured, the number of control elements vastly reduced.

The concept car’s lighting technology is an innovation that is visible by both day and night. Digitally controlled Matrix LED units at the front and rear produce an excellent light yield. Minuscule Digital Matrix projectors literally make their mark on the road ahead, turning light into a versatile, dynamic channel of communication with the surroundings. Other road users can also be informed of the various driving modes, such as when the vehicle is driving autonomously.

For its drive, the Audi Elaine uses a configuration that Audi will use in future production models with all-electric drive: One electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear power all four wheels, transforming the high-performance coupé into a quattro in typical Audi style.

320 kilowatts of power – which can even reach 370 kW in the boost mode – provide a fitting level of propulsion. Elaine sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.5 seconds. With the battery’s energy content of 95 kilowatt-hours, its range is in excess of 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) (NEDC).

Highly automated with Audi AI

Setting the Audi Elaine apart from the Shanghai show car are numerous functions that push the envelope for piloted driving and assistance systems, and in a few years will also extend the scope of Audi AI in production models. The foundation is provided by a much more advanced zFAS controller installed in the rear.

The new generation processor has more computing power and refined sensors with even greater range and precision. The Audi Elaine can therefore serve its owner as a highway pilot, relieving the burden on the driver over extended distances. The highway pilot is an extension of the traffic jam pilot in the A8 and allows piloted driving at speeds from 60 to 130 km/h (37.3 to 80.8 mph). When the highway pilot is active, the Audi Elaine changes lanes automatically – it can pass and then return to the original lane, for example. It can initiate, perform and complete such actions autonomously, without any involvement of the person behind the wheel. If the driver does want to intervene, they can do so spontaneously at any time.

Audi AI Zone

The networking of the car and the infrastructure is crucial for driverless mobility. The driver parks the Audi in a designated area (the handover zone) and exits the vehicle. From there, the car drives automatically and unoccupied into a multistory parking garage offering a variety of services, such as a car wash, a package station, a gas station or a charging post. Thanks to Audi AI, the car does all of this itself.

Connected with its surroundings, the intelligent Audi can even locate an unmarked parking space on the side of the road and pull precisely into it. At the desired time, the vehicle is back in the handover zone, ready for its next journey. Drivers can follow the actions of their vehicle at all times and even add new tasks using an app.

Customers of the premium brand will soon be able to save time and enjoy greater convenience in Audi AI Zones. Audi is currently developing a standard interface for a wide variety of smart devices and is preparing web-based, vehicle-specific apps. The project is almost ready for production. The Audi Elaine will thus become an IoT device (internet of things), seamlessly and smartly integrating itself within the world of its user.

Assistant and butler – PIA

The best operating concept is the one that is ideally adapted to the driver, the one that relieves him/her of as many actions as possible and that autonomously carries out routine operational inputs. PIA, the personal intelligent assistant, follows precisely this principle. Using artificial intelligence methods, PIA combines data intelligently with one another – data from the car, data about the driver, traffic jam reports and traffic projections, as well as information from the internet. PIA also responds to voice inputs and uses tailored algorithms to communicate autonomously and adaptively with the user.

PIA gets to know the driver by observing their behavior patterns. This opens it up to use for a broad range of applications: navigation, selection of music, selection of the desired Audi connect service, climate control, suggestion of a parking space or maintaining the regular distance to vehicles ahead on the highway.

Audi Fit Driver

Every Audi today already is equipped with the latest technology and offers top-level comfort and safety. As a private place of retreat and all-round networked space, a car is an ideal place for monitoring fitness levels and can also actively improve the health and well-being of the driver. Projects like Audi Fit Driver make the Audi Elaine concept vehicle an empathetic companion. In many situations, it knows what the driver needs. A wearable device on the driver’s wrist provides the data. It collects and transmits information about the most important vital signs, such as body temperature and heart rate.

If Audi Fit Driver detects increased stress or fatigue, for example, the vehicle systems adapt themselves accordingly in a relaxing, a vitalizing or a protective manner. Thanks to intelligent algorithms, the system gets to know the driver better and better.

With Audi Fit Driver, driver can for the first time actively reduce stress and improve their concentration.

Related articles