Forests in cars and flying houses

Audi design UNIverse: these are the automotive design concepts of the future

The seventh corporation-wide think tank for young designers took place under the motto “urban future mobility.” It provides a unique international platform for creative new ideas. The question now is: “What will the mobility of the future look like?”. Blog author Ines Ramke was at the Audi design UNIverse and found out why the future just might bring us a forest in a car.

Future on a smaller scale - this is how the student's models looked like at the Audi Design UNIverse 2018

Stepping into the Audi Design Center is a breath of fresh air, and miniature models of futuristic vehicles stand lined up next to each other. The unique concepts come from over 60 students from academies in South Korea, Italy, and Germany. They are all working busily on their models, making their final adjustments, practicing their speeches, and — most importantly — presenting their visions of the mobility of the future, true to this year’s motto.

How will mobility change in the future?

“We need to re-think things and look at mobility from a new perspective,” says Andrea Staebner, the project manager for this year’s Audi design UNIverse and an interior designer at Audi Design Headquarters. And that was exactly the students’ assignment: to view the future of transportation as a unified whole. That’s because, in the future, the focus will shift to integrated mobility concepts, as Andea Staebner explains: “Urban living needs to be designed efficiently and break apart infrastructures. The students have all interpreted this in their own unique ways.”

With the idea of universal mobility, the up-and-coming designers look towards a common future. Because although every design is very unique, they are all united by one vision: to get away from the idea of private ownership, away from fixed traffic flow, and move towards greater flexibility and individuality.

The vehicle as a home

“We have worked on this project for a year,” says Mariem Halaka, beaming. She and her team colleagues Kennedy Masihi Christ and Lukasz Wojkowski are proud of what they have built. It’s a completely new interpretation of mobility — a new chance to feel at home anywhere in the world.

Mariem Halaka and her teammates Kennedy Masihi Christ and Lukasz Wojkowski explain how the mobility concept of the NEW-MOD will bring families and friends closer together again.

The model built by Mariem and her team is known as Audi NEW-MOD. With their idea, the international team from the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan takes on the challenge to completely redesign the mobility of tomorrow and to counteract the problems of housing shortages and over-filled streets. The concept: modular living. Using a subscription service, customers can live in an “Audi Home” anywhere in the world and be easily and autonomously flown anywhere they want by the Macro-Hub — a type of drone built in to the house.

Even if this futuristic model might seem to be a long way off, the project is based on current trends and developments and could become a reality by the year 2040.

The Audi Tower, in which all living units are housed, generates its own power, making it self-sufficient.

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”Modular Living“ is a comprehensive concept that asserts individuality and sustainability to its users.

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The Audi Homes‘ bright, welcoming interior is manufactured from sustainable, renewable materials.

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Even travellers do not have to renounce their Audi Homes – the subscription system makes a worldwide use of the macro-hubs possible.

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Thanks to the NEW-MOD, you can now freely choose and change your own community and lifestyle at any time.

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The macro-hubs‘ window facades provide a light-flooded indoor climate.

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What does “new mobility” look like?

All models created by the students include the implementation of autonomous driving — in most cases up to level 5, in which the “driver” need not actually steer his method of transportation in any way.

And that’s exactly why the students also ask themselves the question: what will the “user” actually do if they aren’t driving?
The answer to this question can be found in contemporary history, before it has even been written.

That's how urban future could look like - shaped by the PEONY concept, that enables an autonomous connection between short and long trips.

Autonomous transportation

The Peony, for example, blends public transportation with private life, and rails with streets. This model makes it possible to travel along rails within city limits in order to counteract overcrowding in the central city. If users leave the city center, a drivable base is available, allowing the Peony to transport users autonomously to their destination.

Inside the vehicle, ergonomically optimized seats and innovative interior acoustics provide privacy, even if passengers use the integrated screen to watch a movie.

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And the long-distance travelers have not been forgotten, either. In Audi M.I.A., a personal digital assistant helps the driver to multitask; the interior can be customized to meet individual needs. That means that, on long-distance trips, the M.I.A. can turn into either an office or a living room for up to four people.

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The VW Chronos includes a built-in mixed-reality system with sightseeing and provides tourists with autonomous entertainment.

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But users who aren’t ready to leave the driving entirely up to cars can look forward to a very unique toy for grownups: the St.rider. Users can either lean back in the single-seater and enjoy the autonomously-driven ride, or take the wheel in motorcycle mode. The most unique part? The gamification aspect, as the driver experiences a virtual race track on a large screen.

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Healthy living

Another important topic for the students was the demographic change in our society. The concept of the B-Well focuses on a target audience of seniors over the age of 60. So that passengers arrive safely at their destination, the fully autonomous vehicle provides not only short-range transportation within cities, but also mobile health check-ups. Patients with diabetes or cardiovascular disease, in particular, could benefit from this model.

Mobility and medical checkups work hand in hand: the B-Well concept transports its users to their destination while performing a BMI analysis or chromotherapy.

The students at the Audi design UNIverse also designed customized solutions for people whose mobility is limited by a physical disability.
The Audi IN and the Audi SeaMo (short for Seamless Mobility), for example, focus on the needs of people with physical disabilities. It makes it possible for them to travel short distances and manage obstacles such as steps with ease, providing a level of independence that was never before possible.

The macro unit of the Audi IN makes it possible to transport a wheel chair user within the city without the need for outside help to board or exit the vehicle.

Stress-free work

In modern times, stress is omnipresent and practically unavoidable. The students recognized this problem and looked for new approaches to stress reduction. What if I just want to relax in nature after work? It’s almost inconceivable in the megacities of our world, but the group of inventors from RWTH Aachen University and Hongik University created the ANV — a model that confronts this problem head-on.

At the end of the day, head designer Marc Licht concludes: “Imagining the future and redesigning it is truly not an easy task.” But with their ideas, the young designers and engineers show that they have a handle on things.

Marc Lichte

Head of Design, Audi

Audi head designer Marc Lichte: „We re-imagined the future to develop new offers of mobility.”

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Ready for an encore? See more visions of the future here:

Megacities, globalisation and digitization raise quite some questions: How can public transport be implemented more efficiently? How can commuting and travelling be simplified? Does tomorrow’s mobility offer advantages for families?
The students at the Audi design UNIverse 2018 found individual answers to all of these questions:

The core of the Audi AVION is the Audi Hub: a emission-free building situated in every major city.
A symbiosis of aviation, mobility and architecture. The heart of the Audi AVION offers enough room for meetings and meals and thus addresses travelers.
The parametrical archtitecture of the Audi LAV provides an individual expandability ”on demand“. It can be changed to the mirco (two seats), macro (four seats) and mega (six seats) versions.
Form, structure and colour can also be adjusted at a whim – thanks to the Audi “LAV Laboratory”.
The Audi Tukan can be driven as a motorcycle and can be parked vertically and space-savingly.
Thanks to its slim silhouette, the Audi Tukan is the perfect vehicle for traffic in cities. Narrow streets are no problem anymore.
A luxurious vehicle of the future: the JEWL.IN puts the children in the front seats to provide them enough space to play freely on long travels.

The core of the Audi AVION is the Audi Hub: a emission-free building situated in every major city.

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A symbiosis of aviation, mobility and architecture. The heart of the Audi AVION offers enough room for meetings and meals and thus addresses travelers.

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The parametrical archtitecture of the Audi LAV provides an individual expandability ”on demand“. It can be changed to the mirco (two seats), macro (four seats) and mega (six seats) versions.

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Form, structure and colour can also be adjusted at a whim – thanks to the Audi “LAV Laboratory”.

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The Audi Tukan can be driven as a motorcycle and can be parked vertically and space-savingly.

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Thanks to its slim silhouette, the Audi Tukan is the perfect vehicle for traffic in cities. Narrow streets are no problem anymore.

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A luxurious vehicle of the future: the JEWL.IN puts the children in the front seats to provide them enough space to play freely on long travels.

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