By Bobby Carlton
On top of being a badass looking set of wheels, Audi’s new concept vehicle has four built in AR headsets and transforms into a truck.
German carmaker Audi has unveiled a concept vehicle that uses AR glasses to show 3D content in the real world. It also eliminates the need for traditional control panels by allowing users to interact with digital features through the glasses.
Along with the AR feature the vehicle, which is called the Activesphere, has a range of over 600 kilometers and no local emissions. It also features an 800v charging system and can transform into pickup truck on demand.
Yes, we’ve made it to the age of transforming cars! Sort of.
The company claims that the AR features will be able to customize the content for both the passengers and the drivers. For instance, drivers will be able to access navigation information while the passengers are surfing the web.
Oliver Hoffmann, a member of the company’s technical development board, said that the concept vehicles show the company’s vision for the future of premium mobility and in-car virtual tools.
The concept vehicles are equipped with four AR headsets, which are designed to provide the driver and the passenger with a variety of information and services. According to the company, the system can identify the user’s focus and provide more detailed data.
“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. The interior becomes a place where the passengers feel at home and can connect to the world outside at the same time,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi, adding “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 controls for various functions are located in front of the vehicle’s elements. For instance, the audio and AC controls are positioned over the speakers. Through the use of AR technology, the vehicle can also display 3D topography images and other traffic information while in off-road mode.
Along with in-car assistance and entertainment, the Audi Activesphere passenger can take the headset out of the vehicle and use to navigate a bike trail or find the ideal descent while skiing down a mountain. The company noted that information about the car, its battery range, and the charging stations nearby can be accessed both inside and outside of the vehicle. It also provides weather forecasts and other advance warnings.
The vehicle’s interior features various notable features, such as an autonomous driving mode that can deactivate the steering wheel and the dashboard. It also has a next-gen dashboard that can serve as an x-large soundbar. Additional consoles containing four AR headsets are located above the center console.
Of course Audi is just one of many car manufacturers looking at how they can bring XR technology and make it part of the driver and passenger experiences. BMW actually puts drivers into VR as they test drive their vehicles, and Holoride announced their new system that lets your passengers use VR for in-car entertainment through an HTC Flow VR headset.
For more information and photos of Audi’s Activesphere concept car, click here.