The AI:Me is the final piece in a four-concept puzzle that also includes the luxurious Aicon, the sporty AI:Race, and the off-road-ready AI:Trail. It’s the city-friendly member of the bunch developed to thrive in megacities that make Las Vegas look like a quaint, cozy village nestled deep in the countryside. It reminds me of a modern-day successor to the A2 released in Europe in 1999, and of what Audi’s answer to the BMW i3 could look like. It’s lower and far wider than it looks in photos, and interior designer Immo Redeker told me it’s not based on the new MEB platform parent company Volkswagen developed specifically to underpin electric cars. The widespread rumors claiming the concept is essentially Audi’s version of the Golf-sized ID.3 are untrue; it’s its own thing.
The German car maker will also exhibit new technologies, including a 3D mixed reality head-up display that was developed in partnership with Samsung and show pictures to the driver that appear to be floating at a distance, from 10 to over 70 meters ahead, meaning there’s no need for the eyes to refocus.
Audi’s “Intelligent Experience” navigation system will also be on display, featuring artificial intelligence for better safety and comfort. The self-learning navigation system, which is already on offer with the current MMI-equipped models, saves preferred destinations and connects them with date, time and traffic conditions in order to suggest better routes.
Audi says that the system will be able in the future to conduct a precise analysis as to functions and settings the driver prefers, including the seat position, media, route guidance, and temperature to the fragrancing of the interior. After a short time, the system will implement the driver’s preferences autonomously.
Autonomous technology could find itself stuck in a similar pickle while lawmakers around the world figure out what to make of it, and how to regulate it. It will inevitably arrive, and when it does, look forward to relaxing, playing a virtual reality-based video game, or, realistically, working on your way home from work.