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  • Audi Wireless Charging
  • Audi Wireless Charging

    Audi is still at least a year away from bringing a fully electric model to market, and like every automaker pursuing EVs, charging is a major component.

    To that end, Audi – like Nissan, GM and others – is patterning with WiTricity Corporation from Boston, which manufacturers a coil-based inductive charging system that utilizes one coil installed in the ground and tapping into the grid, with another coil mounted underneath the vehicle. Alternating current in the embedded coil creates an alternating magnetic field that flows through the air and sends the voltage to the car-mounted coil. It can be mounted anywhere and according to Audi isn't just safe, but the system isn't affected by rain, snow or ice.

    ETA: Two to three years.

  • Garage Parking Pilot
  • Garage Parking Pilot

    Automated parking is almost becoming old hat on high-end models, and Audi's parking assistant is already available on the A4 and A6. Audi is taking it a step further with the addition of a parking space finder that locates nearby lots and garages (possibly incorporating the aforementioned wireless charging), but it won't stop there – literally.

  • Garage Parking Pilot
  • Garage Parking Pilot

    When the vehicle reaches the entrance of the garage, the local wireless network detects the car's arrival and a "digital thread" allows the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel and the be autonomously piloted directly to his space. Vehicle-to-vehicle networking should ensure collisions aren't an issue, and when you're done dining or catching a flick, you simply open an app on your smartphone to have your car waiting for you at the entrance.

    ETA: It's all about infrastructure, so figure a decade or more.

  • OLED Technology
  • OLED Technology

    Audi was among the first automakers to offer full LED lighting on its vehicles, and the next logical step is the use of OLEDs, or "organic light emitting diodes."

    If you follow the consumer electronics industry, you've seen OLED technology used in everything from smartphones to TVs. Unlike LEDs, which are made up of semiconducting crystals, OLEDs are an organic polymer that act like semiconductors. This pastey material is only a few nanometers thick and spans the space between the anode and cathode, both of which are enveloped in an electrically conductive coating.

  • OLED Technology
  • OLED Technology

    Long story short, OLEDs are incredibly light, very flexible and can produce millions of colors in a variety of intensities when stacked together. Not only that, but they're just as efficient – if not more so – than standard LEDs.

    Audi plans to use OLEDs in everything from side markers to interior lights, and could even provide drivers following another car information about that vehicle's speed and braking.

    ETA: Two years.

  • Hybrid Body Materials
  • Hybrid Body Materials

    Audi has been at the forefront of lightweight chassis development, using aluminum to reduce overall vehicle weight by as much as 40 percent when compared to a standard steel chassis. The next step is a mixture of aluminum, steel and fiber-reinforced components that both reduce weight and increase strength.

    By reinforcing an aluminum component – say a suspension piece – with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), its strength can be increased dramatically without a commensurate increase in weight.

    ETA: Less than two years

  • FRP Coil Springs
  • FRP Coil Springs

    Reducing unsprung mass improves both handling and ride comfort, so anything that can be done to remove weight from within the wheel arches is worth exploring. And one area that hasn't seen much innovation is the standard coil spring.

    That's about to change with the introduction of the fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) spring, which replaces the usual steel springs for a weight savings of more than 40 percent.

    Audi is developing a technique for creating these FRP springs that involves a fiberglass helix baked together with an epoxy resin, followed by a metal alloy wire that's woven into the spring. The process is actually quicker than the traditional method of creating a steel spring and the result isn't just a lighter spring, but a stronger one.

    ETA: The first application will be in the 2012 Audi R8 e-tron, with mass adoption coming the following year.

  • Multitouch Controls
  • Multitouch Controls

    The Audi Touchpad – originally fitted to the A8 – was the first application of a touch-based input pad in a vehicle, and Audi will be bringing a revised version that's integrated into the MMI knob in the 2013 A3.

    Beyond that, Audi is working on a new multitouch system similar to that found on smartphones and tablets that incorporates tactile feedback, and partnered with new head-up displays, voice controls and gestures, hopes to reduce driver distraction while increasing control.

    ETA: When's the next A8 coming? Around 2015.

  • Predictive Suspension
  • Predictive Suspension

    Mercedes-Benz gave us a taste of this technology last year utilizing a series of cameras and lasers to detect the road surfaces ahead and then adjust the suspension to soak up the ruts and bumps.

    Audi won't be left behind and plans to utilize a similar camera-based system that will subtly alter the adaptive dampers by scanning the road 20 meters ahead. In addition to a stereo camera mounted ahead of the rearview mirror, Audi plans to incorporate "photo-mixed detectors" (PMD) that rely on both radar and laser systems.

    ETA: Same as the new Multitouch system, we expect this adaptive suspension to arrive in the next A8.

Audi has dropped the details on seven new technologies it is working on, some of which are still in early development, while others will be on the road within the next few years. They span the spectrum from furthering Audi's commitment to lightening its vehicles through the extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber composite to new infotainment concepts and its continued push for electrification through its e-tron program.

We've assembled all of these technologies into an easily digestible gallery, outlining each program, what it aims to accomplish and when (or if) we'll see it in production. Check it out.


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  • 104 Comments
      intarsiagrinder
      • 3 Years Ago
      What America needs is a nice "little" 4 door wagon similar to the Toyota 1969 Corolla that ran nicely at 30 MPG around town and get 44 MPG on a trip. It wasn't fancy, but it sure was affordable.
      Dwayne
      • 3 Years Ago
      cool stuff, but WTF Audi!? where is my Audi Quattro, haven't heard much of it since the unveiling of the concept.... .
        1STH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dwayne
        it's likely not happening----the concept was a frankenstein build of all sorts of stuff, likely too expensive to make it that form (lightweight, truncated chassis, etc)....so there's a slim chance it may pull through, however unlikely.
      MiralDesai
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now make iRobot2!
      Hi Jerry!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great, all we need is more junk on cars to jack the prices up even further. Cars are already overpriced as it is, without adding anymore needless stuff on it. I really miss bench seats, a wing glass on the front doors, chrome bumpers, and a full size spare tire. Man, I miss the good old days!
      ricton738
      • 3 Years Ago
      My grandma drives an Audi. The only complaint she has is ..when she hits 110 mph, with the top down,..her false teeth tend to fly out!
      Edee
      • 3 Years Ago
      We dont have enough distractions on the road now...so we light it up some more. I cant understand why they let those halogen blue lights to be put in to headlights they a are worse than high beams of regular headlights
      MICHAEL
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about better gas mileage!!!!
        hugozoon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MICHAEL
        by the time these improvments come out we will not be using gas!
          jhernadi
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hugozoon
          There is no financially feasible replacement for gasoline. It works. Its there. We are fools not to use it.
      AJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      Multi-touch pads that are separated from a screen doesn't seem like a good idea. For example, laptops with touchpad don't work well from a gaming prespective. A multitouch screen itself would be much better. But touch screen functions can be made obsolete if voice control can be improved. I'm surprised that not that many manufacturers are working to improve voice command. Also, it would be nice if cars could communicate with each other, sending data about their position on a traffic grid. That could aid in accident avoidance if it could be implemented to already existing collision avoidance systems.
        R3TRO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AJ
        I HATE talking to machines, not sure why but it always makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't like the automated phone services. I don't like Siri. I don't like bluetooth headsets. We are becoming so freakin' lazy that we have to command computers with voice instead of pushing a button or two?! The car parks for you now too? Seriously if you can't parallel park your car without computer assistance, than maybe you shouldn't be driving. I'm turning into my dad. Never thought I'd see the day when I think technology is getting out of hand. We are starting to live in a cold disconnected digital world. The PlayStation generation is officially here.
      leiderpoppop
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Audi is a fine looking car and I w ish I could afford one
      Alice Mason
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a Baddddddddddd car.
      sandralee9023
      • 3 Years Ago
      How cool is that !
      cmax383666
      • 3 Years Ago
      great,No gas but it would look nice in the drive..also it will very likly confuse another driver thinking it is some sort of police car.Thinking about it we wilkll not need manned police cars they are going to be remoe operated and we can cut down on police .
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