Seeing concept cars at auto shows is cool but I’ve never found it particularly exciting because they’re cars I’m never going to get behind the wheel of, or even ride shotgun in. That’s because they’re not really ever meant to be driven by the public. However, every once in awhile, car companies let journalists inside these concept cars and at CES 2020, Digital Trends was given a ride in the fascinating Audi AI:ME concept.
Admittedly, that ride occurred on a rooftop parking lot at the top of the Aria hotel in Las Vegas. So it’s not as if they could really test any driving dynamics. Instead, the test was to allow DT editor Ronan Glon to experience the car’s futuristic new interior.
“We can design everything inside the car differently if the driver becomes a passenger,” Audi interior designer Immo Redeker told Glon. That’s a unique way to think of it and it shows. The entire cabin of the Audi AI:ME is open, airy and completely devoid of typical automotive interior elements. Sure, there’s still a steering wheel and pedals but both are hidden away when not in use.
Instead of the traditional dashboard and infotainment screen, a massive black panel spans the width of the dash, out of reach of the front passengers. When the car turns on, this panel becomes a massive touchscreen. Because it’s out of reach, the Audi AI:ME features eye-tracking technology which allows front occupants to choose menus and icons simply by staring at them. It’s quite interesting, actually.
We’re glad Digital Trends was given a closer look at the AI:ME, as now we can get a better idea of what it’s actually like to ride along in. The AI:ME is a fascinating look at the future of the automobile and we can’t wait to see more.