Audi is looking at urban traffic solutions a little differently, as evidenced in its Q3-based connected mobility concept introduced at the Beijing Auto Show.
Developed at Audi Research and Development in China, the lifestyle concept offers sporty and multi-functional mobility for traffic-dense cities such as those found in China. It features an electrically powered longboard that’s integrated into the rear bumper of the Q3, from which it can be easily extracted to use at those times when even a small crossover is too big for the congested streets.
The scooter-like board measures 1.05 metres in length and is made of lightweight materials — carbonfibre and aluminum. It’s automatically charged when it is docked in the vehicle’s bumper. The two are linked via a mobile app on the user’s smartphone, so that when an appointment is set on the smartphone’s calendar app and linked to a location, the vehicle’s MMI infotainment system is able to calculate the best and fastest route to the destination using a mix of vehicle and skateboard.
The app will find a suitable parking space for the Q3 and forward the turn-by-turn navigation directions to the smartphone, which can be docked conveniently on the board’s handlebars.
The board has a range of 12 km and can reach a top speed of 18 km/h, with “throttle” available by remote control. In “scooter” mode, the remote clips to the right handlebar grip; in “sport” mode, the handlebars are folded down and the rider uses the remote in hand; in a third mode (perhaps it should be called “caddy”), the board can be used to carry shopping bags, for example, and will automatically follow the holder of the smartphone (or even a smartwatch).
The Q3 is produced locally in China and is the regional market leader in the compact SUV segment, delivering more than 70,000 units in 2015. Audi has committed €24 billion (over $34 billion Canadian) into new model development and innovative technologies by the end of the decade, with the long-term goal of achieving CO2-neutral mobility.