Audi Sport 24.03.2022
Iskanje po AudiLab Slovenija
Naj si bo DTM ali Formula E, vsak od osmih Audijevih tovarniških voznikov ima na straneh svojega dirkalnika napisano številko. Vprašali smo jih, kako so jih dobili in kaj pomenijo števila na njihovih Audijih RS DTM in e-tron FE05.
“We only create things that can become real in some form. The technology has to exist to make the concept feasible.”
The Pop.Up Next concept doesn’t herald a flying car per se, but a self-driving, self-flying, fully autonomous, electric-powered taxi. It’s designed to operate on a multi-mode principle. Two passengers sit in a capsule, which, for driving purposes, is attached to a four-wheel ground module that is also electric-powered and fully autonomous. For flight mode, the capsule is autonomously detached from the ground module, then attached to an eight-rotor air module or drone capable of vertical take-off.
“The aeronautical-inspired seatsfeature netting that adjusts to each passenger’s shape.”
The concept certainly appears cool and suitably futuristic, both from outside and inside the ultra-minimalist cabin. My details and my ‘journey’ have already been pre-registered on an app on my smartphone and, as I settle into the seat, I’m recognised and welcomed aboard by PIA, my speaking Personal Intelligent Assistant. The seats certainly feel comfortable, and, currently, there’s sufficient space behind them to hold a couple of small bags, although it’s possible the flying taxi will be smaller in size when it reaches production. The ‘dashboard’ in front of me is one large screen that incorporates augmented-reality technology and enables me to highlight icons simply by moving my eyes
By pressing on a small touchpad mounted between the seats, I can then choose the ambient-lighting theme I desire, and the type of music I wish to listen to through the speakers built into the headrests. Naturally, there is plenty of glass area to provide occupants with a fine view as they soar over the city, although the floor below my feet is not transparent – and deliberately so, as Nicolas points out: ‘We wanted to create an open environment that enables passengers to enjoy the experience, but we also wanted to ensure they felt safe and weren’t frightened.’
»Ko sem s kartinga presedlal na Formulo BMW, mi je štirico dodelila ekipa. Z njo sem zmagal na debitantskem prvenstvu. Leto kasneje sem z isto številko zmagal na velikem prvenstvu. Potem sem prestopil v dvolitrsko Renaultovo formulo in s številko 34 spet zmagal. Kmalu za tem sem s štirico zmagal še na prvenstvu Renault World Series. Štirica mi očitno paše.«
»V Franciji imamo veliko regij in vsaka ima svojo številko. Napisane so tudi na registrskih tablicah. Regija Eure-et-Loir, v kateri sem se rodil, ima številko 28. Če jo obrnemo, dobimo 82, kar je letnica mojega rojstva. Zato sem se odločil, da bo moja številka 28.«
»To je bilo prvo, kar mi je padlo na pamet. 33 si ljudje dobro zapomnijo, poleg tega sem toliko star. Upam, da je to dobro znamenje.«
»Ko sem z bratrancem začel tekmovati v kartingu, je on že nekaj let vozil številko 50, jaz pa sem si zato izbral 51. Nekaj let kasneje, ko sem začel voziti dvolitrsko Renaultovo formulo, smo žrebali številke in slučajno sem izžrebal 51. Tisto leto sem zmagal na prvenstvu in na devetih od dvanajstih dirk, zato se je držim vse od tedaj.«
»53 je moja dirkaška številka še iz časov kartinga. Navadno si številke lahko izbereš sam, ali pa pač tako kot jaz zamudiš prijavo in je 53 edina številka, ki ti še preostane. Zato sem JG53.«
»S številko devet sem bil precej uspešen. Ko smo si v sezoni 2015 lahko vsi DTM vozniki izbrali stalne številke, sem pomislil: z dvema devetkama na avtomobilu gre lahko samo še na bolje. Od tedaj imam številko 99. Res, da z njo nisem imel kakšnih večjih uspehov, a je ne bi rad zamenjal. Za to so poleg same številke še drugi razlogi.«
»Rojen sem bil 11. avgusta. Enajstica je torej enostavno moj rojstni datum. Nisem vraževeren.«
»Leta 2009 sem s številko šest zmagal na svojem prvem ADAC Formula Masters prvenstvu. Kasneje sem bil z njo nekajkrat blizu zmagi, ko pa sem leta 2014 začel voziti Formulo E, sem si rekel: svoje drugo prvenstvo hočem osvojiti s 66.«
The company has already conducted a flight in public, at Drone Week in Amsterdam last year – but using a 1:4 scale model. The flight module accurately placed a passenger capsule on the ground module, which then drove from the test grounds autonomously. This proved the effectiveness of the Airbus coupling system and its locking and latching functionality. The air module currently rests on legs to make docking easier, but it’s envisaged that such legs would not be required by the time the concept reaches production.
To make the project with full-sized versions viable, more powerful batteries than those that exist today would be required, and Airbus is currently working on developing such technology. Noise is another issue, and reduction of the high-pitched whirring familiar to anyone who has witnessed even a small drone in flight is being sought. Italdesign is working with Audi to develop battery and electric-motor technology for the ground module – an area in which Audi’s engineers have already proven highly competent, as the recent launch of the e-tron SUV testifies. Therefor an Audi engineer is also based with the Italdesign team in Italy.
“It’ll take a while for the drones to arrive in great numbers – maybe by 2030.”
So, let’s assume that the technology can be developed to make the flying taxi operate safely, all legislative issues can be successfully resolved, and the public is happy not only to travel in such a vehicle but also to live in a city with them flying overhead. How might it all work in practice, and by when might it happen? ‘It’ll take a while for the drones to arrive in great numbers – maybe by 2030,’ explains Massimo. ‘We estimate that there could be 200,000 to 300,000 of them in operation all over the world by then, and several thousand could be deployed in a city like London. We envisage that, to start with, they’d operate in strict air corridors only, perhaps flying from the airport and landing on a tower downtown. But, in the long term, it may be possible to open up the sky and give them more freedom.’
While the current model is being designed to have a short, cross-city range, Massimo surmises that, as technology advances, it may even be possible for longer journeys to be undertaken. Massimo however is convinced the flying taxi will become a reality and is clearly very much looking forward to taking a flight in it. ‘After all,’ he adds with a smile, ‘humankind has always had the dream of taking to the sky, right back to the time of Leonardo da Vinci and his flying machines.’
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