Does a Car need AI? Meet Audi’s Aicon, an AI focused concept car

As the internet enters everything we have to question if our smart devices are in fact getting smarter. There is no doubt that AI and autonomous drive have the potential to make our roads safer but what would our relationship with the autonomous car look like? Aicon is an AI focused concept car from Audi and it's put you at the center of its universe.
by Nicole on September 12, 2017

Aicon, Audi’s newest Artificially Intelligent concept car answers the question: What will my relationship with my car look like? PIA is a “empathetic electronic vehicle assistant” and she’s aiming to be so much more than what you might be familiar with on your phone.

“PIA,” can recognize riders by their phone and then tweak vehicle settings to their custom specifications, including things like cabin comforts, lighting and seating position. It also responds to voice commands for things like navigation destination and entertainment.

Aicon is eye catching and for those car lovers out there the exterior has been redesigned to allow for more room on the interior.

Aicon has no steering wheel or pedals and is embracing it’s level 5 capabilities, an environment where the driver is really just an active passenger.

Things get interesting on the inside with PIA is your personal assistant and she’s highly personal because you can adjust whether or not she’s extrovert and communicating with your heavily or introvert only communicating important information to you. PIA combines data intelligently with one another – data from the car, data about the driver, traffic jam reports and traffic projections, as well as information from the internet.

PIA gets to know the driver by observing their behavior patterns. She’s got eye tracking so you can interact with graphics on your heads up display and the interior of the car follows the mobile living room concept.

She’s involved in a lot of aspects of the car: navigation, selection of music, selection of the desired Audi connect service, climate control, suggests a parking space or maintaining the regular distance to vehicles ahead on the highway.

Machine learning is used to gain insights and adapts the car’s functions to the behaviors and needs of the driver. This extends to making suggestions and recommendations.

Being sensitive to data, providing privacy but also the ability to take your data with you where ever you go. The car can identify individuals and PIA adapts the way the car acts.

We’re excited for all touch displays and living room like feel. We’re ready for a future where our car isn’t just a tool but is an active co-pilot actively looking out for our needs.

AI or autonomous drive is already leading looking to help people avoid those human errors that lead to accidents. For example, more AI features can be found within vehicles; safety features linked to automatic braking, alert systems, and collision avoidance systems.

By working as an assistant to the human driver, AI-led advancements benefit everyone on the road and pedestrians near vehicles in terms of greater levels of safety.  Where Aicon is much more interesting and an extension of these concepts is the face of the car has gone completely digital, Instead of just signaling right or left and honking the horn to communicated, Aicon has a whole host of ways to communicate with pedestrians.

Audi has some interesting innovations there with the Aicon, too, including a companion drone that comes with the car, and a built-in . The included drone has a built-in flashlight and is called a “light companion,” designed primarily for lighting a user’s path as they enter and exit the vehicle at night. The car does away with long-range headlights for nighttime driving, relying instead on its autonomous sensor suite to navigate dark driving conditions.

Aicon is much more than just a concept car, it’s a vision of what the personal relationship will look like in the future. From major automotive brands and tech firms to fleet companies, startups, and consumers, the use of AI within vehicles and the technology that connects them within the IoT environment is set to benefit everyone. AI has moved IoT forward in many ways with these automotive applications to make the world smarter and safer, offering ways to make better decisions and encouraging wider adoption and acceptance of a more closely connected world.

This concept is maybe one of the more fully fleshed out visions of what a truly autonomous long-range car would look like in practice. It’s still obviously quite a ways off from actually becoming a reality, but this is definitely the direction automakers are thinking.