Traffic congestion knows no borders. Recognizing stress-inducing bumper-to-bumper traffic is becoming a global norm for commuters everywhere, Audi has developed a connected mobility concept car with a secondary mode of transportation hidden within the vehicle’s bumper: an electric-powered longboard capable of reaching a top speed of nearly 19 mph.
Designed with markets like China in mind where massive traffic jams can bring roads to a standstill, the Audi Connected Mobility Concept Car is based upon the Audi Q3 – the brand’s urban compact SUV – and developed to counteract urban congestion. Designers at the Audi Research & Development in Beijing equipped the concept vehicle with a 1.05 meter battery-powered multifunctional longboard inside the rear bumper. Once pulled out from its storage drawer, the longboard can operate in three modes:
Scooter mode: riders can attach a phone into a handlebar to display directions. The speed is adjusted via remote control attached to the right handlebar grip. A backpack can be conveniently clipped onto the steering rack.
Sport mode: the rider controls the speed via remote control in his hand.
Follow mode: the board serves as a transport device for luggage or shopping bags: Connected wirelessly to a smartphone or smart-watch, the board automatically follows its owner.
The whole system is designed to connect the car’s infotainment system with the driver’s smartphone, calculating destination and planned arrival time, then formulating the fastest route based on real-time traffic data. If and when traffic is a lost cause, the system will then recommend a parking space nearby to allow the driver to switch over to the longboard option to complete the commute, transferring the map routing to the connected smartphone app to help riders navigate the city.
The Audi Connected Mobility Concept Car paints an interesting picture where drivers would drive vehicles to commute to nearby public transportation facilities, then utilize the longboard/scooter as a portable final stretch mode of transportation in congested zones where traffic and parking pose regular obstacles.
We’ll wait and see for now whether this proposal can jump the gap from concept to production vehicle. But definitely count us in if this ever becomes available in a hoverboard technology edition.