The Audi AI:ME Concept will make its debut at CES and is full of ideas about future mobility. Look past the PR guff and there’s some interesting stuff.
CES 2020 is usually full of stupid things, but Audi seems to have put some thought into things. The AI:ME concept is what Audi calls “empathetic.” I did say there was some PR guff.
You can’t argue with how it looks – it’s a very cool design. The Vegas location is not only a nod to the CES show but also the fact this is an urban vehicle. There are some very, very strong Audi A2 areas here.
Audi says it’s empathetic because it uses machine learning to work out where you go and what you do. The current MIB2 version of the MMI does that, but given the AI:ME packs MIB3, one assumes it’s better. Those of us with too much trust in our iPhones already know that on Saturdays it tells us what the traffic is like to our weekend cafe. Same with the AI:ME.
The car also features “3D mixed reality”. Basically a head-up display on steroids, it will place a navigation icon in your line of vision over the lane you need to take or the street you need to turn into. Audi reckons the pointer looks like it’s 70 metres down the road and means you don’t have to re-focus. Which is good for fighting fatigue.
This is all on a screen-on-demand, measuring 122cm wide and 15cm high. The OLED screen – or portions of it – remain transparent until required. Nifty. Or would be if I could show you what it looks like – for some reason, Audi’s central PR chose not show it. Yet.
Another fatigue-fighting feature is adaptive lighting. If the car thinks you’re tired, it will change the interior lights to a cool, blue light, which apparently wakes you up a bit.
All of this is powered by new hardware, with ten times the processing of MIB2, so it should be up to the job.
Also, it can drive itself, but we’re not in for the Cult of Autonomous Driving at the moment, so that’s just a party trick.
I’ll update with more pics when they’re released.
As I wrote this, it became increasingly clear that MIB3 isn’t far away, we probably won’t get that funky screen for a bit and I’m really hoping this shape goes into production because it’s cool. Perhaps an A3-sized EV?
Updated! Interior Images!
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.