Audi reveals AI:ME concept ahead of Shanghai motor show
Audi has unveiled what it calls a “mobility concept for the megacities of the future” the AI:ME concept hatchback.
The hatch concept is fully electric, and tailored specifically to cities where Audi says “extreme acceleration values” and “top highway speeds” are “obsolete.” Audi envisions that the AI:ME will predominantly travel between 20 and 70km/h.
Although a maximum range is not stated, the AI:ME will have a decent 65kWh battery pack (the same as a Hyundai Kona Electric with almost 500km range) and will produce a maximum power output of 125kW from its electric motor which operates the rear wheels only.
The AI:ME is the second ‘AI’ branded car after the AIcon, which it says will preview a variety of technologies “from the field of artificial intelligence”. As such, the AI:ME is capable of level four autonomy (that is: it can fully drive itself with an occupant present).
Audi says this is to turn “The tedious daily journey from A to B” into “an enjoyable ride with free time.”
The AI:ME has a leisure focused interior, providing occupants with innovations like magnetic cupholders that can be mounted to different surfaces, an ottoman under the dash for resting “when the pedal set is not needed”, and an included set of virtual reality goggles to compliment the multimedia system.
Much like the BMW i3, Audi touts interior materials made of recycled compounds.
Audi says that the AI:ME is the third in its current set of electric prototypes, following the PB 18 track car and AIcon long-distance tourer. A fourth concept vehicle will be revealed in September.
Audi envisions that these concepts preview a world where its vehicles are offered on-demand via an app and “need not pass into permanent personal ownership."
Customers who use the app will be able to order which colour scheme and features they want, how long they want to use the vehicle for, a drop-off location for it to be delivered, and then simply park it somewhere when they are finished with it.
The AI:ME is set to appear at the Shanghai motor show on the 18th of April, so stay tuned for more info.