When Audi announced that on April 19 they would present their urbansphere concept, their prototype for the urban car of the future, it was easy to think that it would be a small electric car to move easily in a city. Breaking all the schemes, Audi imagines that these cars will be huge machines designed for the passengers.
In recent years, the German firm has been revealing all the details of its Audi sphere family, up to three concepts (Audi skysphere and Audi grandsphere, in addition to this latest model, presented) that anticipate the guidelines by which the manufacturer will be guided in the future, with a specific approach to each type of driving or situation in which we need a car. In the latter case, the Audi urbansphere bets on the transport of people in the big city.
Audi Urbansphere, from the inside out
The future of urban transport cannot be understood without the effective implementation of autonomous driving. Audi believes so because this is the only way to make complete sense of this Audi urbansphere concept, designed especially for Chinese megacities.
According to the brand, the prototype has been designed as a lounge or a rolling office, a place as spacious as possible for cities where there is a lack of exactly that: space. Here, passengers can enjoy all the communities in a prototype car with level-four autonomy and no steering wheels or pedals.
Its impressive size of 5.51 meters in length, 2.01 meters in width, and 1.78 meters in height, with a wheelbase of 3.40 meters, makes it possible to maximize the space and activities to be carried out in the passenger compartment. For example, working, relaxing, or simply holding a meeting with other people. The rear seats can tilt up to 60 degrees and deploy legrests for greater comfort. In addition, the front seats can be rotated to face each other and face all four seats.
The vehicle is designed to offer as many digital services as possible, with the ability to make reservations, shopping, or play multimedia content individualized for each passenger, including speakers in each of the seats. Pivoting from the roof, a huge OLED screen can be positioned between the two rows of seats and, being transparent, allows the sky to be viewed once retracted.
To control all functions, passengers can opt for physical buttons and haptic controls to navigate menus or a mix of gesture control and eye-tracking, as well as voice commands. Virtual reality goggles are added to the doors for even greater immersion.
Let them decide for you
Once on the move, Audi wants passengers to forget about everything and make the most of their travel time. Therefore, this Audi urbansphere concept can pick up passengers at home, drop them off at their destination and, on its own, find a parking space or space for recharging.
The latter can be done at a maximum power of 270 kW thanks to 800-volt charging technology, which would allow you to get 300 kilometers of range in just 10 minutes. And go from 5% to 80% capacity of its battery (120 kWh) in 25 minutes. To move it, a 295 kW (395 hp) engine has been chosen. The mechanical assembly can cover 750 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle.
On the outside, the Audi urbanshpere concept is dressed by Matrix LED technology light panels that, in addition to offering the best lighting to the vehicle itself, also allow you to set your signatures for each passenger and warn other drivers and pedestrians of their presence, with sets of different colors.
To top it off, passengers have available the Audi Light Umbrella, a luminescent umbrella made of reflective materials to warn of the presence of pedestrians and that, through artificial intelligence, activates a rhythmic flashing in dangerous situations or when passing a crosswalk.