The Audi Aicon Concept, on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is a fully electric, fully autonomous car that will charge itself with no human input.
The Audi Aicon is described as a four-door 2+2 luxury saloon – with no steering wheel or pedals. At more than 5.4 metres long, it’s also huge. As are the 26-inch wheels.
Occupants can relax and watch a film or surf the web. Video conferences are another option, as is interaction on social media. Depending on the seating position, the passengers can use the large front display as the output surface or a virtual head-up image displayed above it in the windscreen.
Audi envisages that “traffic will be less hectic and flow more smoothly in the future than is imaginable today”, and long distances can be covered at a high constant speed of around 80mph. Accidents will also be a thing of the past thanks to the highly advanced sensor systems and networking, and so passengers don’t need seat belts.
A total of four electric motors are located in the area of the front and rear axles. The energy storage units are integrated into the area below the floor. These are solid body batteries with considerably more energy capacity than lithium-ion batteries.
The four electric motors produce a total of 260 kW and 550 Newton meters (405.7 lb-ft). Each drives one wheel, enabling electronically controlled, variable quattro all-wheel drive. Maximum acceleration played a less important role in the specification than maximum efficiency and therefore also range. This operating strategy is also pursued by the powertrain and electric brake units, which use recuperation to recover energy. Targeted lightweight construction of the multimaterial body and optimised aerodynamics also help the Audi Aicon to achieve ranges of between 434 miles and 497 miles on a single charge.
Even charging has been reduced to a minimum. Thanks to a high-voltage system with 800 volts, the Aicon’s battery unit can be charged to 80 percent of capacity in less than 30 minutes. The car is also equipped with a unit of inductive, i.e. wireless, charging. The Aicon manages both without a driver. In an AI Zone, it can pull up to a charging station on its own and charge its battery without any human assistance.