It isn't a mystery anymore than in our future lie electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles - that's clear from the the International Motor Show in Germany. But the Audi Aicon concept, to bow at the Frankfurt Motor Show that starts shortly combines both in a massive, massive car. The Audi Aicon is larger in size than the A8 albeit it seats just four. Those, for your reference at 26-inch wheels! Set to be one of the stars of the 2017 IAA, the Audi Aicon concept adds another tech buzzword, artificial intelligence or AI into the mix for the future of our personal transportation.
The new 2017 Audi Aicon promises a new world of electric cars with AI that drive themselves and leave you to do... whatever it is that you want to do
The Audi Aicon is a four-door vehicle in a smooth two-box form with four seats and all-electric drive. It's nearly 18 feet long, that is quite a bit longer than, for instance, the new Audi A8 that debuted just a short while ago. Because it drives itself and has AI, Audi's decided that the headlights will no longer be needed. Instead, the front of the car has 600 pixels to communicate with pedestrians as well as other vehicles. The Aicon, wait for it, has pupils like you and I do that change size and can follow people.
The grey 'headlight' on the front of the Audi Aicon Concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show are displays that the car can use to communicate with other vehicles and pedestrians
There isn't a B-pillar - can you remember a concept car recently that does? - and the portal doors open wide to reveal a spacious, luxurious interior and louge seating. The Aicon can track your eyes, listen to your commands and uses haptic touchscreen surfaces for everything else. No pedals, no steering wheel are in evidence. You will, however, have PIA, Audi's vehicle assistant. You think the pupils following you is strange? PIA is, according to Audi, "empathetic." In fact, the more you see of the car, more interesting, and sometimes unsettling Audi's idea of our future is.
Now to the safety specification? Well, there's AI. And that's it. Since the AI car will never crash, you don't need silly things like the seatbelt or the airbags. Adding all that to a car that never crashes is just silly.
The Audi Aicon Concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show doesn't need airbags or seatbelts because AI ensures it never crashes!
Okay fine, we will get serious. The Aicon gets four electric motors delivering roughly 350PS and 550Nm to all the four wheels. You get 800km to a charge and Audi promise a 80 per cent change in 30 minutes.
How do you like that idea for the future? You can sit inside the Aicon, chat with PIA or bury yourself in the increasingly digital world because the AI will make all the real decisions. Is it time to roll out the Skynet jokes?