Grandsphere Concept: Audi shows Level 4 study with projection instead of displays

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Grandsphere Concept: Audi shows Level 4 study with projection instead of displays

Image: Audi

What could a car that drives towards the autonomous future look like in the coming years? At the IAA, Audi is showing the Grandsphere Concept, which the manufacturer callsPrivate jet for the road” designated. The long body makes room for a spacious interior with projection surfaces and an extendable steering wheel.

The technology of automated driving at level 4 is being developed at Audi together with CARIAD, the software think tank of the Volkswagen Group, with the aim of introducing it in the course of the second half of this decade. With level 4, new interior designs are to be introduced, because the steering wheel, pedals and even the obligation to constantly look ahead only play a subordinate role.

In the electric Grandsphere Concept, the steering wheel only moves out of the dashboard outside of level 4 zones when required, if this cockpit element can still be called that. The pedals also move back so that the classic driver-oriented cockpit can be transformed into a spacious lounge, as Audi describes the interior concept. The car should become a place of communication among the passengers or for relaxation, work or personal retreat.

Projection instead of screens

However, there is no screen armada in the Grandsphere Concept. Audi wants to use wood and wool, synthetic textile fabrics and metal for the wall cladding, seat coverings and floor carpets to create a living room atmosphere. In order to avoid empty black rectangles with inactive displays, Audi is instead using projections onto the wooden surfaces below the windshield. Depending on the driving situation – manually with the steering wheel or in level 4 – the projection takes place over the entire width of the cockpit or segmented into areas for the driver and front passenger. Audi speaks of “extremely fine resolution with exact readability“As well as the display of all important information that is required during the journey.

  • Audi Grandsphere Concept

    Audi Grandsphere Concept (Image: Audi)

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    Multimodal operation

    The projection surface can be used as a large cinemascope screen for the content of the infotainment system. Streaming services should be continued seamlessly from the smartphone after getting into the car. The operation takes place on the one hand via a “sensor bar” below the projection surface, on the other hand Audi relies on eye tracking, gesture or voice control, handwriting input and touch. Cameras capture the view of the passenger and implement gestures made freely in the room on the physical control element (MMI touchless response). There are additional control panels in the armrests of the opposing doors, which are self-opening using aisle recognition.

    Range of over 750 km

    The Grandsphere Concept uses the “Premium Platform Electric (PPE)” technology platform with a battery module between the axles that holds around 120 kWh of energy. Two electric motors provide a total output of 530 kW and a torque of 960 Newton meters. Depending on the configuration, ranges of more than 750 km are possible. The 800-volt charging technology is used, which, like the Audi e-tron GT, enables charging with up to 270 kW.

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