A feeling of calm
Passenger wellbeing goes way beyond comfort and safety in the Audi of the future.
A relaxation program in the Audi urbansphere concept transforms the car into a peaceful sanctuary points the way forward in terms of onboard experience.
14 July, 2022
With autonomous driving, the ability to really focus on the wellbeing of the vehicle’s occupants with even more sophisticated programs has become possible
Audi has long been a leader in producing stunning interiors that are both functional and supremely luxurious, with a view to making every trip a memorable one for all occupants. From exacting climate control to customisable mood lighting, to advanced massage functions and even custom fragrances in certain models – creating an environment that is not just comfortable but seeks to enhance the occupant’s wellbeing have become more important and more advanced.
With the coming of autonomous driving though, the ability to really focus on the wellbeing of the vehicle’s occupants with even more sophisticated programs has become possible – taking the comfort and wellbeing to another level.
Developing this area of ‘onboard technology’ has been ongoing at Audi for some years, but its latest incarnation is perfectly illustrated in the Audi urbansphere concept. Step inside and the interior lighting dims to a warm apricot glow, soothing music chimes in and the display encourages you to maintain a calm, steady breathing rhythm. As the seat reclines, you can let go of everything and just focus on your inhaling and exhaling. Leave the hustle and bustle of the outside world behind.
The Audi urbansphere concept stage-manages every detail to create an immersive environment conducive to relaxation and meditation.
This is known as the health use case, where adjusting the lighting, seating position, soundscapes and digital interfaces inside the brand’s latest concept car creates a tranquil oasis.
Christina Huber, user interface designer at Audi, developed the process in co-operation with Italdesign, an Audi subsidiary and design studio in Turin, Italy:
“The Audi urbansphere concept is a sheltered haven. For the health use case, the car orchestrates a truly immersive cocooning effect by conjuring an extraordinary ambience that’s unlike anything you find at home.”
Yet this is just one aspect of an end-to-end experience. When a passenger approaches the vehicle it initiates the welcome scenario – projecting a carpet of light onto the ground and automatically opening the doors. This reveals the inlays and ambient lighting, as the seat turns towards the open doors in greeting and as a matter of convenience. Once you’ve settled in, the digital interface’s personal assistant greets you and welcomes you aboard.
“The digital assistant is like a butler, permanently on call, poised to cater to your every whim, offer advice and interact with you,” says Huber.
Once you’ve settled in, the digital interface’s personal assistant greets you and welcomes you aboard
A camera in the backrest of the front seat conducts a facial scan, measuring the individual’s pupil size to determine their stress factor
One of the options the assistant will offer occupants in the rear is the health use case. When a passenger makes this selection, a camera in the backrest of the front seat conducts a facial scan, measuring the individual’s pupil size to determine their stress factor. If this is elevated, the system launches the immersive meditation program to guide the passenger into a state of relaxation.
This involves a shift in the lighting to a warm, relaxing colour, while soothing soundscapes play and the seat is reclined to a 60-degree angle, all of which completely transforms the ambience in the vehicle.
Once the meditation is complete, the vehicle’s interior returns to a neutral state and the passengers can decide how they want to use their time – whether it’s concentrating on work, listening to music or engaging in conversation.
The health use case for the Audi urbansphere concept is your on-board relaxation programme. It’s a way of encouraging you to catch your breath, take a moment and collect yourself. Once you feel restored, you can channel your energies into other things.
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