Virtual reality

News Audi EV concept car supports AR glasses

This futuristic SUV comes with a digital console that can only be seen using AR technology.

German automaker Audi recently unveiled a new concept SUV that can transform into a pickup truck on demand. The “Actisphere” vehicle has a range of more than 600 kilometers, uses 800-volt charging technology, and has no local emissions. Not only that, but this futuristic crossover also supports augmented reality (AR) technology.

According to an official release, the next generation of cars will work with AR glasses to display interactive 3D content in the real world. As well as providing key driving status and navigation, the Audi actisphere concept does away with traditional control panels in favor of a digital interface viewable by the aforementioned AR glasses.

AR content will be “individually configurable for drivers and passengers,” according to the company. For example, a driver can access navigation information while a passenger browses the web, adjusts the climate in the car, or controls music.

“The Spherical Concept Car presents our vision for the premium mobility of the future. We are experiencing a paradigm shift, especially with regard to the interiors of our future Audi models,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management responsible for technical development Say.

“The interior becomes a place where passengers feel at home while at the same time being able to connect to the outside world. The most important technological innovation of the Audi activesphere is our application of augmented reality to mobility. Audi Dimensions creates a perfect marriage between the surrounding environment and digital reality .”

Credit: Audi

The vehicles have a total of four AR headsets, one for the driver and one for each passenger. According to an official press release, the system can tell when occupants are focusing on a specific part of the console and provide more detailed information. Once a specific part of the console is activated, passengers can use gestures to interact with the controls.

Unlike traditional consoles, the controls for each function are located in front of their respective elements. For example, the AC controls cover the air vents, while the sound controls sit above the speakers. AR technology can even superimpose high-resolution 3D terrain maps and various traffic information on the real world in off-road mode.

Credit: Audi

“Instead, an activesphere passenger can take his or her headset out of the car and onto the slopes to help navigate bike paths or find the ideal drop point when skiing downhill,” the company said in an official press release. “Information about the car itself, battery range and the nearest charging station can also be accessed inside and outside the car. And, if required, there are warnings such as low tire pressure, and a weather forecast function as criteria for route selection.”

Other noteworthy features include an autopilot mode where the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals disappear, a next-gen dashboard that functions as an oversized soundbar, and an on-board bar (heated or cooled). Above the center console, you’ll find an additional console containing four AR headsets powered by the vehicle’s mixed reality system.

For more information, check out the official release here.

Image credit: Audi

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