Audi has unveiled its AI:ME autonomous electric city car at the Shanghai motor show.
The car offers compact dimensions, a spacious futuristic interior and the ability to drive autonomously at level 4.
The AI:ME is designed as a two-plus-x-seater, and its layout relies on a variety configurations for seat positions and stowage space.
While only the individual seats at the front will be used during most journeys, the car offers space for up to four people in the front and one the rear bench if necessary.
The AI:ME is designed for use in the city and for driving at level 4, which is is the second-highest level on a standardised international scale for increasing automation.
Although systems with level 4 do not require any assistance on the part of the driver, their function is limited to a specific area—such as highways or a specially equipped area in inner cities.
In these places, the driver can completely transfer the task of driving to the system.
The driver needs to resume the task only when the car leaves the area defined for fully automated driving, which means AI:ME is equipped with the traditional steering wheel and pedals.
Audi says stowage space will become more important than before in automated vehicles.
AI:ME features large areas both on the cockpit cover and between the front seats that conceal a further detail: magnets serve as cup holders and hold metal cups or plates in place as required, enabling occupants to eat while riding in the autonomous vehicle.
Another feature are the on-board VR goggles for the visual output of the infotainment system.
The interior also uses real plants to give occupants a feeling of proximity to nature and helps to improve air quality in the cabin.