Audi is working to turn car interiors into immersive, experience spaces.
Why take a trip to the movies, when the whole movie experience can be incorporated into the trip itself?
9 April, 2019
“Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” takes stimuli from movie scenes – in this case a compilation from Marvel Studios’ Avengers films
Audi is increasingly networking its cars with the digital world and its autonomous models of the future will be able to function as experience spaces. Enhancing the car with completely new functionalities and operating as a high-tech communication medium, these cars will completely rewrite our understanding on in-car entertainment.
At this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Audi demonstrated its ‘Immersive In-Car Entertainment’, which is a concept that offers ‘out of this world’ sensory entertainment – even while the car is stationary.
“Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment” takes stimuli from movie scenes – in this case a compilation from Marvel Studios’ Avengers films – and translates them into actual movements that the passengers can feel. Serving as the demonstrator at CES was an Audi A8 L with an electro-mechanically actuated active chassis that caused the car body to lift and tilt in sync with the video footage.
Similar to a 4D movie experience, seat vibrations generated with small unbalance motors and variations in interior lighting and ventilation enhanced the immersive feel. The soundtrack was likewise specially adapted, and distributed through the car’s 23 speakers via a sound system developed by Audi in-house. The imagery ran on a large screen positioned in front of the car, on the upper MMI display in the dashboard and on the headrest displays in the rear of the car, so that each occupant was afforded a bird’s eye view of all the action.
The film data and the specifically adapted metadata were played from a notebook, and the metadata that triggers the effects were created with the help of dedicated software, stored on multiple tracks and output in sync with the film clip on playback. All the movements of the active chassis were controlled through three defined parameters (lift, nod, roll). The active chassis needs just a few tenths of a second to lift the bodyshell of the Audi A8 L by up to 85mm from its regular position, which is why precision timing of the effects was crucial here and on all the other output channels, too.
The central control unit for communicating with the vehicle system was a real-time-capable piece of rapid-prototyping hardware networked with the vehicle’s data buses.
Movie-theatre and gaming units using this extraordinary technology could become available on the market as a high-end package by the middle of the next decade. Depending on network coverage and data tariffs, streaming solutions could also be feasible in future 5G communication networks. XR goggles are another option for outputting the image data, which would further intensify the level of immersion.
This technology will also find future use in video gaming – think, racing games so close to reality that you’d currently have to go to a high-cost simulator to get anywhere near the quality.
The sky as they say, really is the limit and the days of passengers staring out the window for mile after mile, are a thing of the past.
Movie-theatre and gaming units using this extraordinary technology could become available on the market as a high-end package by the middle of the next decade
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