Audi’s AI:Path Quattro self-driving EV idea has drones for headlights


The AI:Path incorporates a phalanx of drones that function like headlights to light up the path forward.


Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

As Audi’s E-Tron SUV gross sales begin to decide up pace at sellers worldwide, the German automaker is wanting off the crushed path for what’s subsequent in all-electric motoring. Revealed on the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday, Audi’s AI:Path Quattro Idea is probably probably the most outrageous and most area of interest imaginative and prescient of the 4 Rings’ battery-powered, self-driven future. It additionally could be the best.

Fitted with 4 electrical motors and everlasting Quattro all-wheel drive, the 13.5-foot-long carbon, aluminum and metal present automobile seems prefer it’d be as at dwelling on a sci-fi film set as a seashore, or maybe crawling alongside a lunar floor. Audi says the 33.5-inch tires and spidery suspension give the AI:Path 13.four inches of floor clearance, and the flexibility to ford as much as 1.6 ft of standing water.

The glass-lined passenger pod options shell seats with four-point harnesses, and the rear seats are comprised of tube frames and material for hammock-like seating.

A yoke-style steering wheel stands out on an in any other case sparse dashboard that does and not using a conventional gauge cluster. As a substitute of a binnacle forward of the motive force, there is a cell phone holder for an app-based digital cluster. 

The AI:Path incorporates a yoke-style steering wheel and makes use of your smartphone as a gauge cluster.


Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

Bizarrely, the AI:Path does with out standard headlamps. As a substitute, it has Audi Mild Pathfinders, “5 rootless, triangular, electrically operated drones with built-in matrix LED parts.” That is proper, it has drones that gentle the way in which, they usually can even present video feeds after they aren’t nestled of their roof-mounted inductive charging cradles. Moreover, there is a magnetic multi-function gentle, dubbed Audi Mild Companion, that magnetically attaches to the automobile’s seat body and can be utilized as a flashlight or an motion digital camera mount.

A yoke-style steering wheel stands out on an in any other case sparse dashboard that does and not using a conventional gauge cluster. As a substitute of a binnacle forward of the motive force, there is a cell phone holder for an app-based digital cluster.

Audi says the AI:Path’s lithium-ion battery pack is nice for round 250 to 310 miles (on Europe’s extra lenient WLTP cycle), although overlanding on tough surfaces can drop that determine to 155 miles. Regardless of practically 740 pound-feet of torque (horsepower just isn’t quoted) and a novel-for-an-EV multispeed transmission, high pace is listed at an exceedingly modest 81 mph.

Whereas this off-road present automobile is a part of a collection of idea automobiles together with the AI Aicon, AI:ME and AI:Race, the AI:Path sadly looks as if the least-likely mannequin to have any kind of manufacturing future. That mentioned, we would not be shocked to see it present up in a film or two over the subsequent few years.



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