AUDI revealed the concept for a new electric car with autonomous driving capabilities at Auto Shanghai 2019, and this vehicle really pushes the limits when it comes to connecting technology with nature. Apart from the AI technology implemented to take most of the effort out of driving in general, the AI:ME autonomous vehicle is completely electric. On the interior of the car, a wooden pergola roof allows climbing plants to grow and thrive.

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rendering of side of electric car

According to the company, the AUDI AI systems are “capable of learning and thinking, while also being proactive and personal. Thanks to Audi AI, models bearing the four rings will be both intelligent and empathetic in the future. They will be able to continually interact with their surroundings and passengers, and thus adapt themselves in a better way than ever before to the requirements of those on board.” That’s some serious evolution.

Related: AUDI unveils two new swanky self-driving concepts in Frankfurt

rendering of back of gray electric car

The autonomous driving capabilities go up to level four on the AI:ME, meaning that though the system doesn’t require any assistance from the driver themselves, it is limited to certain regions, such as highways or specific areas in inner cities.

rendering of dim car headlight

The uncommonly raised headlights will be used to alert other drivers and pedestrians to the presence of the car, rather than as a tool to illuminate the road (unnecessary, as the occupants of the car won’t be driving).

rendering of u-shaped steering wheel

The interior has plenty of storage space — a must for autonomous cars, as the passengers will need ample room to do whatever they’re doing instead of driving. Rather than pedals, the AUDI AI:ME has comfortable footrests, and the seats prioritize comfort over function. A 3D monitor with VR goggles allows for everything from watching movies to interactive gaming while in the car, and the high-quality audio system combined with the noise-canceling interior makes outside traffic noise a thing of the past.

rendering of spacious car interior with light gray seats and wood accents

As for the “green” roof, this is a first for the automobile industry. The designers used filigree wooden struts to construct a pergola above the interior roof surface, giving it the ability to hold living plants. AUDI not only wanted to create a connection between the driver and nature with this innovation but also to improve the air quality within the car (advanced air filters also remove outside odors from traffic and the city).

rendering of wood roof pergola growing plants on a car

The AI tech uses intelligent algorithms to monitor stress levels of the car’s occupants. This helps the car itself to actually get to know the driver, therefore improving their experience, whether it be preferred temperatures or seat adjustments.

+ Audi

Images via Audi