Inner worlds - the new architecture of mobility

Inner worlds - the new architecture of mobility

15.07.2021: A technological shift is revolutionizing vehicle design The interior is becoming the heart chamber of automotive design 3-D visualizations are increasing quality in the design process Philipp Römers, Head of Design Exterior;

A technological shift is revolutionizing vehicle design
The interior is becoming the heart chamber of automotive design
3-D visualizations are increasing quality in the design process

Philipp Römers, Head of Design Exterior; Marc Lichte, Head of Design; Norbert Weber, Head of Design Interior.

“As a designer, there has never been a time as exciting as today. Right now is the best time to rethink and reconfigure automobile design – to put it briefly: to lead car design into the future,” says Audi head designer Marc Lichte. In fact, behind his enthusiasm, behind the pure emotion lies one of the greatest revolutions in this history of the automobile.

New technologies are changing people and the ways that they move: the transition to e-mobility, the automated driving of the near future, all-encompassing digitization, and with it the networking of car and world. All of that is not only having a major impact on technical construction, but it is also revolutionizing design for future Audi models and, consequently, the design process.

Design is part of the essence of Audi’s brand. That means that it is an essential expression and visible symbol of “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Design makes an emotional identification with the brand possible and, as a consequence, it is always a core selling point.

Permanent change: What does the design of an Audi have to do?

In the past, it was often the bulky combustion engine – usually positioned in the front of the vehicle – that determined the basic proportions of the vehicle body. Consequently, it has also defined customers’ aesthetic ideals – for decades.

The cabin was as flat as possible, shaped in a wind tunnel. The interior was functional and high quality – a control center, often compact and subdivided by the center tunnel and control elements. A symbiosis of conflicting parameters: seat comfort suitable for long-distance trips versus lateral acceleration, space for passengers versus a sufficient luggage compartment, a bright sense of homeliness versus multifunctionality in every corner.

The car of tomorrow: the much more compact electric engines now sit on the axles, the battery is in the underbody area, and the dimensions of the vehicle cabin in the middle are growing. Outside, but above all inside: in the future, cars will drive fully or partly automatically and steering wheels and pedals will at least be intermittently expendable and may disappear.

User convenience and connectivity inspired by smartphones are increasingly important. Above all, they have long been a factor in purchasing decisions for younger customers. For that reason, car design is more and more becoming experience design with the objective of creating experiences for the user.

Audi Design head Marc Lichte asks the critical question: “What demands are users making of us? Do they want to be able to work in the car, read, or sleep? What purpose are we designing the car for? Long distances? Cities? Leisure? What does the appropriate interior need to look like for that?”

In the future, the interior of an Audi should therefore no longer be just a functional control station for the driver, but should instead reflect individual needs and integrate countless functions as smoothly as possible.

Various operating philosophies – language and gesture control as well as touch-sensitive surfaces – will replace traditional switch panels and rotary wheels. Consequently, the interior of the future will set new standards for integration of technology, spaciousness, and feel-good ambiance.

In the future, Audi literally wants to offer more free space where passengers can open up during the drive – even, and in particular, when they are no longer needed as drivers in their cars.

This means that in the future, the interior will set the pace for vehicle design overall. “With respect to both the design and the essence of the brand,” says interior design head Norbert Weber, “a successful synthesis of architecture, design vocabulary, and materials in the interior is a distinguishing feature of every Audi – that will only be reinforced in the future.”

From the idea to the final design: How does the creative process work at Audi?

At Audi, the foundation for every design project is an upstream concept phase. The focus here is on worldwide users. That is the basis for design development and an innovation portfolio that is consistently oriented toward people.

 It is a matter of recognizing individual needs and extracting requirements from them in order to make a seamless overall mobility experience possible. That is how new intelligent and holistic products and services come about.With that foreknowledge, the project’s first, very target-oriented design sketches are produced as visualizations.

The starting point is usually a simple outline drawn digitally on a graphic tablet or occasionally even traditionally with pencil and paper. As a result, the designers are always and everywhere able to let their creativity run free and develop a feeling for individual ideas. “The best method is to then share ideas with each other.

As things move along, only the ones who shed their tunnel vision, sketch ideas, and share them will get better and more creative,” says Immo Redeker, Audi Design’s head of interior architecture.

 Digital tools have long been part of the standard repertoire in the collaboration between the various design locations. Above all, the significant improvement in data glasses, which had only a niche existence for a long time and were not fully developed, has been crucial for the technological breakthrough.

The result: if the clay model above all was the fixed point for teams in design and aerodynamics, then digital technologies like virtual reality are fundamentally changing the way they collaborate. The teams meet across disciplines in virtual space – regardless of whether they are working in Technical Development in Ingolstadt or elsewhere in the world. Each and every person is equipped with VR glasses and a controller.

Various concepts and versions of the exterior and interior can be changed at will – and in real time. During the analog era, this process often took several weeks. In turn, the time saved gives the participants more freedom to perfect the given model further.

Using 3-D visualizations therefore produces highly polished designs and consequently improves the grounds for and reliability of decisions. Interior designers in particular can realistically experience and safely assess proportions and spatial concepts with this technology right in the concept phase. That is why design requires the highest quality depictions.

Do the reflections the in the lacquer and the shade edges in VR match reality? Special computer clusters provide high-resolution image content. They can even calculate dynamic driving scenes and simulations from model designs.

Twenty-four hours of Audi Design: How do the Design Studios around the world work together?

Cooperation in Audi Design is intercontinental. In that process, the customer-centered approach to developing a product that is fascinating, durable, and fun always comes first – and is constantly the Audi Design crew’s greatest challenge.

Consequently, 450 designers from 25 nations are preoccupied with developing creative ideas. The company’s studios in Ingolstadt, Beijing, and Malibu form the germ cells for the models of tomorrow. That is where different fields work hand in hand to refine visions, designs, and prototypes.

 The Design Center in Ingolstadt supports fast and integrative work and design processes between the design, model making, and technology. Large-scale LED walls and modeling spaces with milling machines stand right next to each other and make it possible to directly compare 3-D models with reference models.

In the process, the locations are also competing. Before ideas go into a series, they first have to hold up to international competition within the company.

Changing locations over several months ensures that colleagues at Audi are better networked with one another and learn from each other. Moreover, on site they find out what specific needs customers have specifically in the big and important Chinese and American markets.

Digitalization meets craftsmanship: How does an idea become reality?

The completed digital data sets from the Beijing and Malibu locations are transferred directly to the Design Center in Ingolstadt, where they are milled with milling machines to clay models at the desired scale.

Despite the digital design development, a physical exhibit nonetheless remains an indispensable part of the decision-making process at Audi. The designers check the proportions from various distances in order to get a better sense of their coherence.

“Nothing can replace the feeling of standing in front of a model in reality,” says lead engineer Weber. “That’s when the perspective becomes lifelike to the human eye.”

“Outside Bold, Inside Magic” – Exterior and interior at eye level

For the leading creatives at Audi, design is always a process that takes place at eye level between the two disciplines, even if it will develop from the inside out in the future: “On both sides, we want to create the best-of for Audi,” says exterior design head Philipp Römers.

 “Autonomous driving at level four and the resulting technical possibilities also cause future possibilities for creating a prestigious silhouette from that – with perfect proportions and special aesthetics.”

 Christoph Lungwitz - photo Audi


15.07.2021 / MaP

More News

BMW Group launches “Quantum Computing Challenge” in collaboration with AWS to crowd-source innovation.
  - Call for quantum computing solutions to specific industrial challenges - Follow-up project for the winning team Starting today, researchers, start-ups and pioneering companies from the global quan more >>
Dynisma reveals the World's most advanced driving simulator
... for automotive vehicle and motorsport development •    Dynisma reveals details of its market-leading new DMG-1 and DMG-1C systems aimed at global automotive manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers and all levels of motorsport more >>
Automotive Transformation Group Created to Revolutionise Vehicle Sales
...Enabling Billions in Online Sales as Industry Rapidly Digitises   ·  Automotive Transformation Group is officially launched today as new entity for recently merged leading auto industry suppliers, Auto more >>
Hyundai Motor Group Announces ‘2021 ZER01NE Accelerator’ Open Call to Collaborate with Startups
2021 ZER01NE Accelerator open innovation platform invites startups to collaborate with Hyundai Motor Group on future technologies    Applications can be submitted under eight differe more >>
MINI Vision Urbanaut - The virtual concept becomes a reality
In November 2020, the MINI brand revealed the MINI Vision Urbanaut virtual concept vehicle, an all-new interpretation of mobility through an innovative vision of space. Now, the BMW Group has made a physical model of the vehicle showcas more >>
BMW i Ventures Announces an Investment in Kodiak Robotics
BMW i Ventures announced today an investment in Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading developer of self-driving long-haul trucking technology. The funds from the BMW i Ventures investment help Kodiak expand its team and fleet, as well as continue to develop its indust more >>
CERN lays first stone of Science Gateway
    CERN today held a first stone ceremony as the next step in the creation of the Science Gateway which was first unveiled in 2019 in Geneva     The ambitious and innovative Science Gate more >>
Bambuser to Present at VivaTech 2021 as part of the LVMH Innovation Award Program
- At Europe's biggest startup and tech event, Live Video Shopping to be showcased among solutions driving the future of customer experiencesBambuser today announced its participation in VivaTech, Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Hosted by more >>
Eco Wave Power's EWP - EDF One Conversion Unit Arrives on Site at The Port of Jaffa
Today, Eco Wave Power (Stock Symbol: ECOWVE) is pleased to announce that our wave energy conversion unit has arrived on site at the Port of Jaffa, Israel. With preparations underway for the unit's installation the project is proceeding on schedule."We are delighted with t more >>
Polestar 1 is the first car that can be bought with art
    First-of-its-kind initiative allows artists and collectors to trade art for a Polestar 1    Low volume, hand-built Polestar 1 production coming to an end later in 2021    Initiative is a collaboration with internationally leading art advisor Theodor Dalenson more >>
Polestar launches 2021 global Design Contest
    Polestar launches second annual Design Contest for student and professional designers    The contest sets out to find the most creative, design-led ideas that drive electric mobility into a more socially progressive a more >>
The Volvo C40 Recharge design story
... combining the serenity of Scandinavian nature with the confidence of electric ambitionIn many ways, the Volvo C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo Cars: it is the first Volvo model in his more >>
Driving the Future 2021 survey
Join the survey that will provide fresh insight into transport habits of the future     New Driving the Future website shows impact of COVID on consumer attitudes more >>
Former Tata Technologies executive joins innovative EV range prediction specialist
Richard Welford, a seasoned strategic automotive industry executive, has been appointed as a non-executive director at innovative EV range prediction specialist, Spark EV Technology.Spark is a cate more >>
The new standard for air quality in automobiles: Two German Innovation Awards for the AELUS from Rolfhartge
• Effective protection against viruses, bacteria and fine dust through HEPA H13 filters and patented photo catalysis sluice.• Handy air cleaner for the vehicle interior.• Tested cleaning performance in a smart design more >>
Parkopedia to facilitate all major in-vehicle payments with a new integrated payment platform
    Parkopedia launches a new multi-domain payment platform to enable drivers to seamlessly pay for parking, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging, fuelling and tolls       The platform solves more >>
BMW Startup Garage China opens Joint Innovation Base with Alibaba Cloud in Shanghai
- Extension of the BMW Group’s open innovation ecosystem - Joint Innovation Base to provide incubation services to no less than 300 Chinese startups - New collaboration perspectives for international activities of BMW Startup Garage more >>
Chery Unleashes “CHERY POWER” to Embrace Technology-Enabled Future
Auto shows are held to exhibit a variety of new vehicles from carmakers, as well as to point to the future path of the auto industry. At the Auto Shanghai 2021, Chery showcased an array of exciting models, such as Tiggo 8 Pro 2.0 TGDI and Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV, more >>
Stellantis, Foxconn to Develop Breakthrough Digital Cockpits and Personalized Connected Services with Mobile Drive Joint Venture
    Mobile Drive, with investments from both Foxconn and Stellantis, will accelerate go-to-market timelines for the most advanced in-car and connected-car technologies in the industry    Mobile Drive brings together expertise in consumer innovations from the sustainable mobility and advanced electronics industries&n more >>
CAKE Wins 2021 German Innovation Award
The Ösa utility platform wins this esteemed award from the German Design Council. CAKE, the Swedish manufacturer of lightweight electric off-road performance motorcycles, is honored to win the German Innovation Award. The prestigious innov more >>
Mobile phone technology to revolutionise police and first responder vehicles
    VNC Automotive predicts explosion of technology integration for police and first responder vehicles    New systems will allow more effective policing and emergency management    Augmented reality, drone and robotic device integration will form integrated command centres in vehicles for first responders. more >>
Mobile 3D printing centre for even greater customer proximity and fast availability of spare parts
    Daimler Buses and Omniplus have created a mobile printing centre for the decentralised series production of 3D printed spare parts.     The mobile container will be in operation at the BusWorld Home (BWH) service more >>
Polestar announces important step on transparency journey - enters strategic partnership with Circulor
....for supply chain traceability    Polestar enters strategic partnership with blockchain provider Circulor    Collaboration targets blockchain traceability and CO2e tracking    Progressive more >>
JuiceBar and UFODRIVE Deliver an Innovative EV Charging Platform for EV Fleet Charging Efficiency
Furthering its dedication to sustainability, JuiceBar, the U.S. based leading manufacturer of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with UFODRIVE, the first all-digital, all-electric car rental company. The partnership is focused on bringing significant benefits and cost savings to the fast-growing electric vehicle fleet performance. more >>
Ducati Monster Experience AR: augmented reality takes the Monster all over the world
    Ducati continues its digitalization process by making use of augmented reality technology to take the new Monster all over the world    From the Ducati website page, enthusiasts can use their smartphone or tablet to view the Monster in their garage or anywhere else    The best contents created usi more >>
SKODA AUTO tests augmented reality glasses for production line maintenance and technical training
- Augmented reality glasses project holograms of technical manuals and checklists directly into the technician’s field of vision- The view through HoloLens glasses can be shared instantly with colleagues during video calls and enables techni more >>
Audi’s sound philosophy is bringing acoustic harmony into the car
   Vehicle as acoustic space with special challenges        Sonos will be a new partner for the compact segment        Outlook: immersive 3-D sound for a holistic sound experience  Natural, holistic, and perfectly attuned to each model: At Audi, the sound more >>
Polestar launches new digital key and updated app for Polestar 2
    OTA updates continue to introduce new functionality for all Polestar 2 owners    New Polestar Digital Key (beta) turns smartphone into secure car key for increased convenience    Updated Polestar app now includes vehicle functionality (beta) more >>
BMW Group Strengthens Leadership Position in Battery Technology with Investment in Solid-State Innovator Solid Power
- Taking a successful Joint Development effort to the next level - 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries in production -  100 Ah cells for automotive vehicle integration in 2022 -  Automotive-compatible all solid-state battery by the end of the decade – BMW demonstrator vehicle well before 2025 more >>
Audi launches initiative for digital factory transformation in Heilbronn
Goal: Establishment of a world-leading competence network for digital factory transformation and innovation        Initiative by Audi, TU Munich, Fraunhofer IAO, XL2, Capgemini, AWS and SAP        A more >>
Innovative ideas for more sustainability: BMW Group invites startups worldwide to collaborate
"Open Call 360° Sustainability"-Challenge launched. Startups can apply in seven innovation areas. Applications open until end of June; jury will recognise best startup solutions. Winners to be announced at IAA Mobility in Munich.The BMW Group has se more >>
CAKE proudly announces partnership with M- Volvo Car Mobility!
CAKE, the Swedish manufacturer of lightweight electric off-road performance motorcycles, today announced a new partnership with the mobility technology company Volvo Car Mobility regarding its car-sharing service, M.   The first step in thi more >>
XCEED, the new blockchain solution for the certification of vehicle compliance is moving a step further in Europe
    XCEED is a new blockchain solution for the European automotive industry to certify the compliance of vehicle’s components from design to production.     Developed and realised by Faurecia, Groupe Renault, Knauf Industries, Simoldes, and Coşkunöz, in association with IBM.     The solution more >>
FPT Industrial keeps innovating with three new on-road cursor GBVI engines for Chinese Market
Developed thanks to the latest world-leading FPT Industrial technologies, the innovative Cursor 9, Cursor 11, and Cursor 13 engines meet in advance the GBVI emission standards that will be fully implemented in China, starting from July 1, 2021.The three new engi more >>
Porsche Engineering is developing the intelligent vehicle of the future with Game Engines
Technologies from the gaming industry prove their mettle in automotive developmentPorsche Engineering, technology service provider and wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche, is using Game Engines from the gaming industry to develop the intelligent ve more >>
World's first mass-produced battery swap station that allows the vehicle to manoeuvre into the station automatically
.. starts operation in BeijingNext generation NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 enters service in Beijing as NIO enters into partnership with SinopecOn April 15, NIO and Sinopec unveiled the NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 at more >>
Porsche adopts new production process for the Taycan
Innovation reduces strain on employees and increases product qualityPorsche AG has developed a new production process at its headquarters in Zuffenhausen in collaboration with Tesa SE. Using this process, the holes in the car body, which are necessary for corros more >>
First Solar Series 6 CuRe has Industry’s Lowest Warranted Degradation Rate
Offers 0.2% annual warranted degradation rate; up to 60% lower than conventional c-Si products   Series 6 CuRe, the next-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology developed by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), has a warranted degradation rate of 0. more >>
URBAN-X startup accelerator by Mini and Urban Us moves to NewLab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
URBAN-X, the leading urban technology startup accelerator backed by MINI and Urban Us, today announced its move to Newlab, a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges. more >>
2001-2023 copyright