Frankfurt Motor Show
The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Showed offered a very specific
ethos this year: electric and self-driving cars.
Many automakers used the
bright lights and gleaming
stands to reveal their interpretation
of a future with all-electric
and driverless vehicles.
Audi was not absent from the theme.
The German luxury brand debuted two e-tron
the Audi Aicon and Audi Elaine.
Both are battery-electric vehicles,
differ in self-driving technology.
The Aicon is a fully-autonomous level 5 vehicle,
while the Elaine resides at level 4 on the self-driving car scale.
The scale measures to a maximum of 5,
which means the Aicon is a true
the hands-off driverless car
where occupants need not be
involved with driving at all and can
do anything, including sleeping.
There are no pedals, no steering wheel,
or other familiar driver controls in the Audi Aicon,
shows the world of tomorrow
which the brand says “shows the world of tomorrow.”
Without the need for a driver,
the cockpit follows a design motif
a design motif seen in other self-driving cars:
a lounge-like cabin with two single-person
seats (or chairs) and a bench seat (or couch?).
(or chairs) and a bench seat (or couch?).
The front seats rotate to allow passengers
to converse with those behind them.
As for the electric powertrain, Audi claims the
Aicon boasts 348 horsepower and
405 pound-feet of torque from four electric motors.
The maximum range is given as 500
miles on a single charge, and the battery pack
of undisclosed capacity can be
recharged to 80 percent in
30 minutes via an 800-volt charging system.
While the Aicon looks further into the future,
the Audi Elaine concept is more “here and now.”
The Elaine is clearly using an adaptation of the
Audi e-tron Sportback’s production body,
which the brand has confirmed for
a 2019 production date.
The brand also provided much
more context for the Elaine concept,
including its level 4 self-driving capabilities.