Marcus De Guzman / Audi, Newspress | September 13, 2017 11:04
Audi reveals level 5 autonomous electric vehicle called Aicon
Aside from the Elaine concept, Audi also introduced another self-driving vehicle at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Called the Aicon Concept, the sleek four-door is a level 5 autonomous vehicle which means it can drive all by itself without the need for human intervention.
While it may look small, the Aicon actually measures a staggering 5444mm long, 2100mm wide and 1506mm tall. It also has a 3,470mm wheelbase which is longer by 240mm than the long wheelbase version of the A8.
Large glass surfaces envelope the Aicon while the side gets convex-shaped windows that let in more light for the cabin. Prominent wheel arches are also present on the Aicon and emphasizes the car's quattro DNA and future design profile. Overly-large 26-inch alloys fill up the wheel wells and are placed as far outward as possible to highlight the Aicon's low, aggressive stance.
Like most EVs from Audi, the Aicon also has the inverted Singleframe grill which differentiates it from standard internal combustion models. Also peculiar to see on the Aicon are its lack of headlights. According to Audi, its onboard radar and sensors are smart enough to 'see in the dark' and can find its way around obstacles as well.
As the Aicon has no B-pillar, ingress and egress in self-driving EV can be done with ease. It has a 2+2 seating layout which are electrically adjustable and was built for ultimate comfort in mind. With a lounge-like design, occupants can hold a business meeting or relax while the car breezes through traffic. It has no steering wheel or pedals as the Aicon was built and designed to be fully autonomous.
It even lacks certain controls on the center dash. Instead, it comes with a full digital display that sits below the windshield and large shelf. LED lights greet the occupants, as well as PIA, the onboard electronic vehicle assistant in the Aicon. PIA can recognize the owner's phone and automatically sets the car's settings like the air-conditioning, seat positions, interior lighting and infotainment display. The navigation system will await one's destination and can set up the fastest route available.
Aside from PIA and the center display, the Aicon also comes with eye-tracking sensors that track the movement of the occupants' eyes and voice control which can recognize commands.
Powering the Aicon are four electric motors which are located on the front and rear axles. It has a total system output of 353 PS and 550 Nm of torque. Each wheel is powered by one motor which allows varaiable quattro all-wheel-drive. Compared to most EVs which have lithium-ion batteries, the Aicon comes with solid body batteries which are stored beneath the floorboard.
Thanks to an 800 volt system, recharging the Aicon to near full charge can be done quickly. In less than 30 minutes, Audi said that the Aicon can be charged to 80-percent. It even comes with inductive wireless charging which negates the use of charging cables.
There is no word if Audi will make a production model of the Aicon soon. But the technologies seen on the Aicon does mean Audi can use it in other future or existing models.