While the world is steadily warming up to autonomous driving, Audi has gone a step ahead unveiling a concept car that doesn't need a steering wheel or pedals to operate. The four-door 2+2 concept is pretty much a peep into the future of cars. Audi says that the Aicon will combine door-to-door individual transportation with the luxurious ambience of a first-class airline cabin. A cabin with no steering wheel or pedals that will offer comforts of modern communication electronics and ergonomics. The Aicon, according to Audi, will not be restricted to being a robot taxi and will be a sneak peak at a prestigious automobile of tomorrow that stirs the desires of demanding customers. The Aicon looks rather good from any angle and is a sizable car at a length of 5,444 mm, a width of 2,100 mm and a height of 1,506 mm – a D segment. The wheelbase measures 3,470 mm. That’s 240 mm more than the long version of the new Audi A8.
Large glass surfaces at the front and rear as well as the convex side windows create a bright expanse of space for occupants. A distinct edge runs as a hard line along the side window surfaces of the Aicon back to the D-pillar – a first in automotive design. This line emphasises the car’s length and effectively reduces the apparent volume of the cabin relative to the overall body. The darkened side sills rise subtly towards the rear, making it seem like the car is ducking.
The strongly flared wheel wells emphasise Audi’s quattro DNA while simultaneously building a bridge to the latest production creations from the Audi designers. Giant 26-inch wheels are placed as far outward as possible. They underscore the car’s impressive presence.
Conventional headlights and lighting units are absent from both the front and rear of this car. Instead, there are fully digital display surfaces comprising hundreds of triangular pixel segments. They are three-dimensional recreations of the Audi AI symbol.
Grouped around the Singleframe are large light fields, in which – as at the rear – more than 600 3D pixels are arranged in space. The large surfaces and high pixel count enable versatile graphics, animations and information visualizations in any colour. The Audi Aicon is thus no longer bound to a daytime running lights look, but rather can adapt to the driving situation and even its passengers. The customization is boundless.
Horizontally cut lighting segments to the left and right of the Singleframe look like eyes and can be expanded to resemble wide pupils or squinted for an aggressive look. If the car detects passers-by or other road users, it literally makes eye contact with them and follows them with its “eyes.”