Audi Virtual Engineering Terminal 2015
Virtualization is becoming increasingly important in the auto industry¾in both the cost-saving product development and the public relations fields. The Audi Virtual Engineering Terminal (VET), developed by AUDI AG and the Ars Electronica Futurelab, facilitates mediation and decision-making in terms of design and the customer’s experience of performance features and characteristics, but also in technical development of assistance systems.
The interactive installation makes it possible to gain first insights and to experience technical innovations that may still be in an early stage of development. To design and configure this novel terminal, AUDI AG and the Ars Electronica Futurelab engaged in an intensive process of exchange, whereby AUDI AG staffers elaborated on various problems that were then subjected to precise analysis by the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Reliance on the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s expertise On the basis of this analysis, we developed several prototypes; one of them ¾ the Audi VET ¾ proved to be the optimal solution, and was subsequently produced by the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The terminal features Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) providing a very intuitive way to juxtapose and compare respective variants of various vehicle features, and to take a comprehensible, hands-on approach to experiencing the benefits of novel developments. One or more Audi models can be positioned and configured on an interactive tabletop display in order to simulate their performance in diverse traffic scenarios and under various conditions. Parallel to the op view on the tabletop, the same simulation is screened either from the driver’s perspective or a bird’s-eye view on a frontally positioned vertical display.
The Audi VET depicts the physically correct driving simulation data generated by AUDI AG and can, at the same time, be operated within the context of any definable traffic situation. The VET has already been utilized worldwide at numerous public events to introduce new vehicle functions such as Audi ’s LED Matrix Headlight and Intersection Assistant. It elicited enthusiastic responses from tradeshow visitors at CES 2015 in Las Vegas and CES Asia 2015 in Shanghai, and thus impressively underscored Audi’s long-term commitment to achieving Vorsprung durch Technik (Progress through Technology) not only in its products but also in its tools for development. In addition to its use for presentation purposes, the VET is deployed in-house to develop new features by offering the possibility of virtually testing several variants of new features even before the first prototypes are developed—for instance, illumination performance of new headlight designs or innovative assistant functions that, as marketable products, are still a few years down the road.
The distribution of Audi is using the Virtual Engineering Terminal to introduce new assistence-systems to the vendors and clients, for example at the TechDay Connectivity. On this occasion, Audi made the the preliminary stage of the autonomous driving-experience palpable via the VET.
Research & Development:
Roland Haring, Roland Aigner, Clemens Scharfen, Michael Mayr, Andreas Jalsovec, Nicolas Naveau, Manuel Dobusch, Benjamin Mayr, Christopher Lindinger