Audi has unveiled two highly automated electric vehicle concepts, the Aicon and Elaine, providing a glimpse into the future of autonomous driving.
Both cars, presented this week at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, are full electric vehicles with varying levels of automated driving, showcasing Audi AI technology.
With no steering wheel or pedals, the four-door Aicon (pictured above) is the more advanced of the two models, in what could be considered Level 5 automation.
The Aicon features four electric motors, located on each wheel, and produces a total of 260 kW for an estimated range of 500 miles on a single charge.
Energy storage units are integrated into the areas below the floor, with solid body batteries utilized instead of lithium-ion, for increased efficiency.
The battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in less than 30 minutes, thanks to its 800-volt high-voltage system.
The electric-powered Elaine SUV coupe, meanwhile, features a different powertrain configuration, with one motor on the front axle and two on the rear, a system Audi expects to use in future production models.
With 320 kW of power, which is increased to 370 kW in boost mode, the Elaine can go from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds, with a range of 310 miles.
The battery can be charged either in a fast-charging wired function or wirelessly.
Audi considers the Elaine concept car to be “highly automated” at Level 4, which does not require any driver assistance, but functions are limited to highway driving or parking in autonomous mode.
By comparison, the Audi A8, which was also launched this week in Frankfurt, is considered to be equipped for Level 3 or “conditional automation.”