Audi transforms driving time into a personal experience with its 25th Hour Project

Photo: Murray Campbell / Unsplash

The 25th Hour Project of the German automobile manufacturer aims to research and understand how the self-driving cars of the future could restore the time we spend in commuting.

Autonomous automobiles are bound to disrupt the urban mobility as we know it largely due to the combination of three very important trends. Computer vision is finally good enough to recognize objects on the road and to build 3D maps of the surrounding area. A ride-sharing, self-driving model will enable companies to cut costs from hiring drivers. Lastly, electrification will make the cost of maintenance of the vehicle lower and it will benefit the environment.

Self-driving cars are expected to not only make people’s lives easier, but also to make roads much safer.  According to KPMG, only in the UK autonomous cars will lead to 2,500 fewer deaths between 2014 and 2030.

Currently, only some of the driver’s tasks are automated. Next year, it is expected for the car to take control on motorways while the driver is ready to take over if needed and is still required for many situations. According to the motor industry, in eight years cars should be able to drive entirely on their own with the driver only supervising the process. It is estimated that from 2030 drivers will no longer be necessary and cars will be completely autonomous.

Americans spend approximately 50 minutes a day in their car. Audi aims to take this necessity time and develop autonomous cars which will be able to convert it into productive time for work, quality time spent with family and friends or into time to relax while watching a movie or playing a video game.

Audi is still at the stage of testing how volunteers react to three major stimuli – light, sound and the frequency and density of information which is displayed on the screens in the car. Participants ride inside Audi’s simulated autonomous car which has four seats facing each other, large projection screens on all sides and no steering wheel.

The company should consider how to implement commercials in a more elegant way in its premium car range because in-car advertising is inevitable. Especially when the car’s connectivity will shape the whole autonomous driving experience. According to Audi, the car will reach its full potential only when it becomes part of a completely networked road system which will enable the automated Audi cars to communicate to each other and to the nearby infrastructure, shops and restaurants. As the head of culture and trend communication at Audi Melanie Goldmann said:

“The car is going to be the ultimate mobile device.”

The car will adapt to the person using it by learning their habits and making suggestions based on the gathered information. This data collection could help turn the car into an even more productive space than the office itself. As far as privacy is concerned, Audi will store the data in the cloud rather than in the car.

The research showed that productivity time is well developed and down time can be easily recreated in the car. The situation with quality time is different because it is extremely personal to each consumer. Therefore, Audi should collect as much data as possible about the life of the person in order to be able to predict and meet their needs.

If you are interested in the latest news about Self-driving Vehicles, then Webit.Festival Europe is the right place for you. During the Mobility Summit, you can listen to top level speakers such as the following who have attended Webit before: the Investment Principal at the European BMW i Ventures team Sohaila Ouffata, the Regional General Manager EMEA of Uber Jambu Palaniappan and the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Dirk Ahlborn.  

Here you can get more information about Webit.Festival, while here you can get all the information you need about the tickets for the event.

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