The German automobile manufacturer Audi has packed in some serious new tech into its upcoming all-electric Q4 e-tron compact crossover, including an augmented reality (AR) head-up display (HUD) along with a more spacious cockpit, more storage and some upgraded cupholders.
Audi recently revealed the interior of the Q4 e-tron, the fifth electric vehicle in its lineup and part of the automaker’s plan to launch more than 30 EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025.
The new launch is an electric vehicle that fits in the larger compact SUV segment with a short overhang and wheelbase of 9.1 feet, a combination that gives it a rather stout look. However, that allows for an interior of 6 feet in length, the kind of space found in a large full-size class SUV.
The more spacious interior has been taken advantage of by including a center console with two cup holders, a 4.4-liter stowage compartment with a cover, two (or four as an option) USB-C sockets and the Audi phone box (which charges wirelessly and boosts your phone’s signal) upon request.
AR enabled windshield
Most notable in the launch is an option to add an AR-enabled windshield. The AR windshield provides a wider field of view and more accurate and dynamic animations versus a standard windshield. The Q4 e-tron will break down important displayed information via two sections, one for status and one for AR. The former, appearing about 3 meters ahead of the driver, will display the driving speed, traffic signs, the assist system and navigation symbols as static displays.
“Head-up displays aren’t new,” states Audi. “This just takes the field of vision farther out so it enables more active use.”
The AR will also display navigation information. Audi calls the turning arrows “drones,” probably because the arrows fly ahead when driving straight and then disappear, reappearing before the next point of action. When the driver approaches an intersection, the drone announces the turn before steering the driver onto the road with precision.
The Q4 e-tron also features updated natural-language voice control, activated by saying “Hey Audi.” The new car will also ditch physical buttons on the steering wheel in favor of touch-sensitive ones.
About 3 percent of the company’s sales in 2020, or 47,000 vehicles, were the electric e-tron SUV and the e-tron Sportback, a number that will surely set to increase as the company continues to roll out luxury electric vehicles.