The futuristic SUV features a digital console that can only be seen using AR technology.
German automotive manufacturer Audi recently unveiled a new concept SUV that can turn into a pickup truck on-demand. The “Actisphere” vehicle features a range of over 600 km, 800-volt charging technology, and no local emissions. Not only that, but the futuristic crossover features support for augmented reality (AR) technology.
According to an official release, the next-gen vehicle works in tandem with AR glasses to display interactive 3D content over the real world. In addition to providing critical driving status and navigation, the Audi actisphere concept does away with conventional control panels in favor of digital interfaces viewable using the aforementioned AR glasses.
According to the company, AR content will be “individually configurable for drivers and passengers.” Drivers, for example, can access navigational information while passengers browse the web, adjust the interior temperature, or control the music.
“The sphere concept vehicles show our vision for the premium mobility of the future. We are experiencing a paradigm shift, especially in the interior of our future Audi models,” said Oliver Hoffmann, member of the board of management for technical development.
“The interior becomes a place where the passengers feel at home and can connect to the world outside at the same time. The most important technical innovation in the Audi activesphere is our adaptation of augmented reality for mobility. Audi dimensions creates the perfect synthesis between the surroundings and digital reality.”
The vehicles feature a total of four AR headsets, one for the driver and each passenger. According to the official press release, the system can tell when an occupant is focused on a specific part of the console and provide more detailed information. Once a specific part of the console has been activated, passengers can then use hand gestures to interact with the controls.
Unlike a conventional console, controls for each function are located in front of their respective elements. For example, the AC controls are overlayed over the air vents while the sound controls are located over the speakers. AR technology can even layer high-resolution 3D topography graphics over the real world while in off-road mode as well as various traffic information.
“Conversely, the activesphere passenger can take his or her headset out of the car and onto the ski slope to help navigate the bike trail or to find the ideal descent when skiing downhill,” said the company in the official release. “Information about the car itself, the battery range, and the nearest charging stations can also be accessed inside and outside the vehicle. And when needed, there are also advance warnings such as of low tire pressure as well as a weather forecast function as a criterion for selecting a route.”
Other noteable features include an autonomous driving mode during which the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals disappear, a next-gen dashboard that serves as an xlarge soundbar, and an on-board bar (heated or cooled). Above the center console you’ll find find an additional console containing four AR headsets powered by the vehicles mixed reality system.
For more information check out the official release here.
Image Credit: Audi