Steering wheel, pedals, instrument panel, gear selector – Aicon is deprived of all this, the autopilot does not allow people to interfere in the process of driving a car. Passengers are only required to set the destination, select the operating mode of the air conditioning system

The four-seater Aicon hatchback is the prototype of an unmanned vehicle with an autonomy level of five according to SAE (highest), so there are no steering wheels and pedals.

Audi has unveiled the Aicon concept self-driving electric sedan at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Despite the impressive dimensions (length: 5444 mm, width: 2100 mm, height: 1506 mm, wheelbase: 3470 mm), the prototype received a salon with a 2 + 2 layout. The pleasure of traveling on this electric car will be received only by the passengers of the first row: for them, sliding adjustable seats with a footrest rising from the floor are installed in the cabin. The seats can also pivot outward or inward for easier entry/exit or for a more intimate atmosphere. Rear passengers are not supposed to be comfortable: they will have to huddle on a bench built into the rear wall of the cab.

For Audi, the world of mobility of tomorrow is door-to-door travel in a cabin reminiscent of first class on an airplane. At the same time, the developers argue, the spread of autonomous cars and their connection with each other and with the infrastructure will allow driving with a minimum of acceleration and deceleration, at a relatively high speed (130 km/h) and at the same time without the risk of accidents, because there are no seat belts in the show car .

The silhouette of the show car can be called one-volume: the sloping hood of the electric car turns into a windshield, which flows into a transparent roof that falls to the stern. The sedan is equipped with hinged doors that open a wide opening without a central pillar. To emphasize the length of the car and visually reduce the size of the cab, a side molded on the side windows connects the lines of the front and rear fenders. Developed wheel arches open the eyes of 26-inch wheels, emphasizing the landing of the car.

The car uses all the developments under the common brand Audi AI. Such a badge will accompany any autonomy systems from Ingolstadt.

The solid-state battery provides the car with a range of 700-800 km on a single charge. This is one of the highest rates among concepts and prototypes, and there is no need to talk about production models.

The concept car does not have traditional lighting technology, instead, more than 600 three-dimensional triangular “light pixels” in the form of the Audi AI logo are mounted on the front and rear of the car. "Pixels" are controlled by an on-board computer, depending on the settings and the desire of passengers, "pixels" can imitate wide or narrow headlights or graphic symbols. In addition, the concept is equipped with a projection module to broadcast images to pedestrians who are not looking at the car at that moment, and a drone with a miniature spotlight that illuminates the path for passengers in the dark from the car to the house.

No wonder a couple of years ago, Audi opened a whole competence center for the world. Jokes about a well-known headlight supplier are aside. Audi has a lot of projects of its own. All outdoor optics in Akon are LED screens, consisting of 600 three-dimensional triangular pixels with randomly changing color.

The headlights and lanterns of the concept can create a cheerful or frowning aggressive look, show acceleration and braking in running lanes, as well as display messages and pictures for pedestrians. In general, animation and graphics are not limited by anything, the authors of the show car say. High beam is simply not needed: the car sees in the dark due to radar and laser scanners.

Steering wheel, pedals, instrument panel, gear selector – Aicon is deprived of all this, the autopilot does not allow people to interfere in the process of driving a car. Passengers only need to set their destination, select the operating mode of the air conditioning system, adjust the level of transparency of the roof and turn on the multimedia system; the PIA assistant built into the car will help them identify passengers by their smartphone. Thus, the Audi Aicon is an unmanned electric vehicle with the highest (fifth) level of autonomy five according to the SAE.

The screen, stretching from the front panel to the rear pillars, is one of the most noticeable features of the cabin. The second is the asymmetrical arrangement of the front passengers. Their chairs move in the longitudinal direction by 500 mm. In this case, the seat moves along with the platform under your feet. It is equipped with a carpet and is adjustable in height, it can act as an ottoman.

Large glazing enhances the visual feeling of spaciousness. Glasses are curved outwards. The largest width of the cabin is at eye level. The degree of darkening of the glass roof is adjustable. It also has a backlight. There is no central pillar, the doors open in opposite directions.

The prototype does not have seat belts either – Audi believes that in the world of the future, where unmanned vehicles will dominate the roads, accidents will go down in history. Yes, and the dynamic characteristics of the car will fade into the background, because the traffic will become less chaotic and more orderly, and the average speed will increase. The power reserve will play a much larger role, here Aicon has something to brag about: on a single charge, the drone will be able to travel from 700 to 800 km.

The concept has four-wheel drive and a fully controlled chassis. The latter reduces the turning radius to the level of a small car. The combined power and torque of the four electric motors (one per wheel) is 260 kW (354 hp) and 550 Nm.

The Germans did not disclose the Akon's dynamic parameters, but explained that in this case they are not significant, since the very idea of ​​​​this show car involves smooth and accurate movement.

At the same time, Aicon does not apply to low-power slow moving vehicles. The power plant of the concept consists of 4 electric motors, producing a total of 350 hp. and 550 Nm. The concept is equipped with a fully steerable chassis, so that, despite the almost 3,5-meter wheelbase, the concept's turning radius is 8,5 meters. Thanks to the adaptive air suspension, the all-wheel drive concept car provides a comfortable interior even when driving on a bumpy road.


Visually separated from the back cushions, square stitching – everything creates the atmosphere of a room rather than a car interior. Naturally, the flat electric platform allows for a lot of space for luggage: the Aicon concept has two luggage compartments, front and rear, with a total capacity of 600 liters. Plus there are secrets in the cabin.

The PIA (personal intelligent assistant) recognizes the owner of the car (passengers) using a smartphone and activates the preferred settings for seats, climate and entertainment systems, and ambient lighting. The PIA system is an adaptive interactive device and is able to offer services to a person before he decides to order them.

In general, the control of all functions of the machine can be carried out in different ways. In addition to touch screens, there is voice recognition, as well as the selection of sections with a glance (sensors determine which menu items a person is looking at). There is a high-speed Internet access, the possibility of video conferencing.

Level five autonomy implies not only movement in any situations without human control, but also autonomous movement of the car according to its needs.

The Germans say that in the future such cars can be left within the so-called AI Zone, from where they themselves will go to park, wash or recharge.

Akon uses a new 800-volt wire system that allows you to "fill" a rather large battery by 80% in less than 30 minutes. In addition, there is wireless induction charging, although not as fast.

Engineers used fully symmetrical front and rear axles. They are equipped with air suspension with active electric elements (as on the A8) that handle bumps, as well as eliminate rolls and dives. The usual steering with its column is abolished here, because the interior could be made as spacious as possible.

The Aicon electric car slows down mainly due to recuperation. But there are also disc brakes.

However, the disks are moved from the wheels to the center, to the transmission. The solution is rare, but it has already been used in some sports cars of the past.

The disadvantage of this solution is high loads on the axle shafts. The advantage is the reduction in unsprung masses, which is very good for comfort, and in this case it is also the ability to make the wheels almost completely closed (there is nothing to cool there now). And these wheels improve aerodynamics.

Audi says it intends to build several more show cars that explore future mobility and autonomous Audi AI systems.


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