Audi Aicon Concept: No steering wheel, pedals
Audi introduced its concept for a purely autonomous EV called the Aicon, which has no steering wheel or pedals. In its vision of tomorrow, the Aicon (a combination of artificial intelligence and concept) combines driverless mobility with the luxury ambiance of first class air travel.
Audi boasts that the sleek looks of the Aicon belie its role as a robot taxi reduced to pure functionality. It’s a large vehicle, riding on a 136.6-inch wheelbase, some 9.4 inches longer than an A8. The car is 214 inches stem to stern and is 82.6 inches wide.
As an electric vehicle, most of the usable space is given over to the 4-place cabin with large glass area with convex side windows. The presence of the Aicon is enhanced by massive 26-inch wheels placed at the far corners of the vehicle. The car sports Audi’s signature single frame grille, which can also display messages to those outside the car.
B-pillarless, coach-style doors provide unfettered access to the cabin, which looks even more spacious thanks to the lack of a steering wheel and pedals. There are two individual front seats which slide forward and backward as well as being able to swivel. The rear bench is integrated into the back bulkhead and all seating surfaces are designed to evoke lounge chairs.
The cabin itself, because of its lack of normal instrumentation and controls, has large interactive screens across the front and into the doors. In addition to touch screen surfaces, passengers interact with the various systems through voice commands, gestures and even eye tracking. There are additional touch surfaces mounted in the arm rests of the seating positions.
The Aicon Concept is driven by four electric motors, one at each corner. The battery pack is located beneath the floor, which frees up the front and rear trunk spaces for additional storage space. Audi envisions the vehicle having a total output of 260 kW (248 horsepower) and 405 lb-ft of torque. Solid state batteries are projected to provide a range of 434 to 497 on a single charge and the 800 volt system allows it to be recharged to 80 percent in 30 minutes.