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Audi Shows Off High-tech Elaine & Aicon Concept Cars

September 12, 2017

While the Frankfurt motor show officially opens its doors today only, Audi arranged a preview to show what it has prepared for the event last night already.

Say hello to Elaine and Aicon – these are Audi’s two electric concepts prepared for the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. They are highly advanced machines that demonstrate what the motoring landscape will look like in the future.

Before you continue, you might want get up to speed on what the various autonomous driving levels mean.

Elaine (An Electric Crossover with Level 4 Autonomy)

Audi Concept car Elaine
The Audi Elaine Concept Crossover

Audi’s show-car crossover concept, the Elaine features Level 4 Autonomy. The company took the ‘traffic jam pilot’ system from their A8 flagship saloon to the next level by installing the ‘highway pilot’ system. This new functionality allows the car to change lanes automatically, without any human input whatsoever!

Audi Concept car Elaine
The Audi Elaine Concept Crossover | Rear

With a total of three electric motors (one at the front axle and two more at the back), the Elaine’s combined power output is 320 kilowatts and can be increased to 370 kW in boost mode. Audi did not reveal details about the car’s top speed, but it will swiftly sprint from zero to 100km/h in 4,5 seconds. The car’s estimated range is 500km.

Audi Concept car Elaine
The Audi Elaine Concept Crossover | Side

Unfortunately, the Elaine will never make it to the assembly line, but the E-Tron Sportback on which this car is based, has already been confirmed for production starting in 2019.

Audi Concept car Elaine
The Audi Elaine Concept Crossover | Cockpit

Aicon (A Level 5 Autonomous Future Awaits)

Audi Concept car Aicon
The Audi Aicon Concept Car

Whoa, where’s the steering wheel? The Audi Aicon Concept hints towards a future where there will be no drivers, just passengers. (This is Level 5 Autonomy)

Audi Concept car Aicon
The Audi Aicon Concept Car | Side

This fact is quickly made apparent when you peek inside this concept car to see an interior completely devoid of a steering wheel and pedals to create a luxurious lounge-like environment not unlike the 1st class cabins on an airliner.

Audi Concept car Aicon
The Audi Aicon Concept Car | Rear

Occupants will not have the ability to drive this vehicle, but touchscreens and controls are spread out throughout the cabin to offer the very latest in digital infotainment. The seats are also designed to be more like lounge furniture instead of traditional car seats, complete with the ability to swivel for easy face-to-face chatting or for vehicle ingress/egress.

Audi Concept car Aicon
The Audi Aicon Concept Car | Cabin

Because this car will be fully autonomous, there will be no need for humans to see the road at night. Conventional headlights and lighting units are therefore absent from both the front and rear of this car. Instead, there are digital display surfaces at the front and back utilizing hundreds of pixel segments, to display messages to pedestrians or other cars.

Audi Concept car Aicon
The Audi Aicon Concept Car | Top

The Audi Aicon is just a concept car and will not go into production anytime soon. It does however demonstrate the inevitable paradigm shift that will happen in the automotive landscape in the not-so-distant future.

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