Audi has one of the more fun new concepts at this year's Beijing Auto Show. Building on the theme of dual mode transportation that we noticed at the Beijing show four years ago, its Q3-based connected mobility concept packs a multifunctional longboard in its bumper, providing an integrated last-mile solution. Software bridges the gap between first and last mileage, helping you commute into the city by car and navigate the dense grid via e-board.
As we explored in 2012, the second mode of the dual-mode transportation concept can take many forms – stand-up electric scooters, sit-atop electric trikes, folding bikes and Segways, among them. Audi goes even more compact with a 3.4-foot-long (1.05-m-long), carbon/aluminum electric longboard that slides into a pop-out drawer integrated in the Q3's bumper. The drawer doubles as a charging dock, keeping the board topped off during the drive.
Audi recognizes that motorized longboarding isn't necessarily the sport of choice for the masses, so its concept board is actually a mobility multitool. A set of handlebars unfold within seconds to make it a scooter. On car-to-destination commutes that are short enough to walk, it works as an autonomous luggage trolley, wirelessly following the owner's smartphone around.
The rider controls speeds of up to 19 mph (30 km/h) via the handlebar throttle, which removes to work as a handheld remote when riding in longboard form. The board can travel distances up to 7.5 miles (12 km) on a charge.
What really brings the Q3 connected mobility concept home is its slick, app-based user interface. The car's navigation system syncs with the driver's smartphone calendar to automatically identify the destination and desired time of arrival, then calculates a route, finding the fastest blend of automobile and e-board travel based on current traffic conditions. The system recommends a parking location around the area where the e-board becomes the better option and syncs the navigation info with the Audi MMI connect app on the driver's smartphone. The phone then takes over navigation responsibilities, directing the e-board/scooter rider to the destination doorstep.
Audi's Beijing-based R&D department developed the Q3 connected mobility concept, and the company revealed it at Auto China 2016, pitching it as a way of meeting the tough transportation demands of Chinese and global megacities. The concept also highlights the Chinese launch of the Q3.
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