The Audi car scientists have been developing some intriguing technologies over the years and the company recently made seven concepts public. From Wireless charging to a Garage Parking Pilot, this is a glimpse into the future of car technology.
Working with the WiTricity Corporation from Boston, Audi is developing a coil-based inductive charging system for electric vehicles. The idea is that a single ground coil will tap into the grid while a vehicle based coil will reside above. Through the magic of alternating currents and magnetic fields, the car’s charging coil will receive the voltage. Audi claims that the coil can be mounted anywhere on the car and that the system is impervious to extreme weather conditions.
Garage Parking Pilot
While Audi’s A4 and A6 already offer a parking assistant, the Garage Parking Pilot takes things to the next level. Using a team of sensors, the car will actually be able to autonomously park itself while the driver twiddles his thumbs. Furthermore, the car will sense a garage door opening, thanks to a local wireless network, and alert the driver that KITT from Knightrider will be parking them tonight. Audi claims the technology will enable the driver to notify the car via smartphone after a night on the town and the vehicle will be waiting for him at the entrance to the garage. Here’s to the future!
Audi wants to install OLEDs in everything from tail lights to headlights to interior lights. There’s even talk of an OLED light that projects the driver’s speed and braking for drivers behind them.
Building on its Touchpad platform introduced in the A8, Audi plans to add tactile feedback, gestures heads-up displays and voice control to its roster. The end goal here is iPad-like control.
FRP Coil Springs
Steel is so turn-of-the-century! Audi says FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) is the next hot item. With a 40% weight reduction over traditional steel shock springs, Audi’s FRP coils are said to increase handling characteristics. The official ingredients of an FRP spring consist of a fiberglass helix baked together with an epoxy resin and metal alloy wire woven through the center of the spring. Tasty! These super plastic springs are allegedly stronger than steel.
While we’re on the suspension train, let’s talk about Audi’s Predictive Suspension system. Following in the footsteps of Mercedes Benz, Audi plans to implement a camera, radar and laser system that will work together to scan 20 meters in front of the vehicle. The computer will then adjust the suspension based on the severity of the terrain, such as giant New England potholes or downed pines.
Hybrid Body Materials
Similar to the FRP springs, Audi is working on a chassis alloy that combines aluminum, steel and fiber-reinforced materials. Weight is expected to go down while strength is expected to go up, and that’s the name of the game when it comes to performance automobiles.