Along with a extra roomy cockpit, extra storage and some upgraded cupholders, Audi has packed in some serious new tech into its impending all-electric powered Q4 E-Tron compact crossover, like an augmented reality heads-up screen (HUD) that’s reactive sufficient to precisely adhere to a driver’s actual surroundings.
Audi revealed Tuesday the inside of the Q4 E-Tron, the fifth electric car in its lineup and portion of the German automaker’s prepare to start more than 30 EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025. The Q4 E-Tron has been predicted for some time it was first unveiled as a principle at the 2019 Geneva Global Motor Show.
The exterior of the production variation of the Q4 is nevertheless camouflaged, but we know its proportions. The takeaway: An electrical automobile that suits in the much larger compact SUV segment with a short overhang and wheelbase of 9.1 feet — a mixture that provides it a alternatively stout appear. Nonetheless, that will allow for an interior of 6 toes in length, the kind of area discovered in a big entire-size course SUV.
The fundamental architecture of the car or truck is dependent on father or mother corporation VW’s modular electric powered push toolkit chassis, or MEB platform. This adaptable modular procedure, initially introduced by VW in 2016, was developed to make it more effective and price-helpful to create a selection of EVs. It has also provided designers much more room to participate in with many thanks to the flat floor. And they took edge of that area, popping in a center console with two cup holders, a 4.4-liter stowage compartment with a cover, two (or 4 as an alternative) USB-C sockets and the Audi cell phone box (which fees wirelessly and boosts your phone’s signal) upon request.
The real tale listed here is the tech — and most notably an option to add an AR-enabled windshield. The AR windshield delivers a wider discipline of view and extra correct and dynamic animations compared to a regular windshield HUD. The Q4 E-Tron will break down critical shown information and facts by using two sections: just one for position and one particular for AR. The previous, appearing about 3 meters in advance of the driver, will display the driving pace, visitors signs, the aid method and navigation symbols as static displays.
With the AR area, the driver will understand the floating symbols to be about 10 meters absent. That’ll display info like lane departure warnings that superimpose a red line on the real-lifestyle lane marking and a colored stripe about an lively car or truck driving in entrance when in adaptive cruise regulate.
“Head-up displays usually are not new,” states Audi. “This just will take the field of eyesight farther out so it allows more energetic use.”
The AR will also display navigation facts. Audi calls the turning arrows “drones,” almost certainly for the reason that the arrows fly forward when driving straight and then vanish, reappearing ahead of the up coming place of motion. When the driver methods an intersection, the drone announces the switch before steering the driver onto the highway with precision.
On the program side of matters, the Q4 E-Tron’s processing unit, known as the AR Creator, picks up uncooked facts from the car’s entrance digicam, radar sensor and GPS navigation to render display symbols at a price of 60 frames per second and adapt them to the encompassing natural environment. The high quality of these shows, revealed by using a little bit of innovative smoke and mirrors on what Audi calls the EV’s “photograph generation device (PGU)” — in essence, a lot of mirrors — will clearly be key to how properly it functions in authentic daily life. With only simulations to show for it now, it’s not clear how properly Audi will pull this off. A wider body with dynamic symbols ought to produce on its promise to demonstrate up “just as evidently as their actual-daily life environment” in any other case they’ll grow to be a hindrance to the driver, and if they do not pull off the depth impact particularly, they could even induce driver distress.
The Q4 E-Tron also functions updated all-natural-language voice regulate, activated by saying “Hey Audi.” The new motor vehicle will also ditch physical buttons on the steering wheel in favor of touch-sensitive ones. But with a haptic responses loop, it’ll nonetheless sense fairly like you are pressing a button.
About 3% of the company’s profits in 2020, or 47,000 automobiles, have been the electric powered E-Tron SUV and the E-Tron Sportback, a variety that will certainly maximize as the enterprise proceeds to roll out luxury EVs.
Composed by Rebecca Bellan for TechCrunch.