Audi has unveiled the Aicon and the Elaine at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. While the Aicon is a brand-new concept, the Elaine is based on the E-Tron Sportback.
The Elaine is classified as a level four autonomous vehicle. Apart from being as capable as its host, the Elaine gets the traffic jam pilot system. This system can change lanes without any human input. While the E-Tron Sportback is slated to go into production in 2019, there is no word about the Elaine’s fate.
The Aicon on the other hand, is a level five autonomous vehicle. This means that it can do everything by itself, at all times. This has eliminated the need for any driver controls. While the Aicon takes care of driving itself to the destination, the four passengers can relish all the creature comforts like the windshield which can double up as an entertainment screen. There are a bunch of other screens too, which allow passengers to watch movies, access web and hold video conferences. The dashboard is a wide touchscreen and allows access for the different menus. The seats swivel around so that the front passengers can face the rear passengers.
The Aicon doesn’t get traditional headlamps, as the computers just need cameras, lasers and sensors to drive. What it does get, are digital displays which can project anything, ranging from mild light to make the Aicon visible to other cars to custom messages. Each wheel gets its own electric motor, with a combined output of 350bhp. Audi claims that the battery would give the Aicon a range of 900 kilometres, and can be recharged up to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes. Though it might be a while before we see the Aicon hit the production lines, it does give an insight into Audi’s future plans.