Audi has unveiled its Urbansphere, the latest entry in its Sphere series of fully-electric concept cars. While initially designed for use in traffic-dense megacities in China, Audi has said that the Urbansphere is suitable for use in cities around the world.

Conceptualized as a third living space, the Urbansphere pairs a privacy-based user experience with a suite of high-tech features and autonomous driving technologies. These technologies inform the EV’s interior design, which features a retractable steering wheel, pedals, and conventional dashboard for when its CARIAD-enabled SAE L4 driving technology is enabled. The interior is also Audi’s largest to date, measuring 18 feet (5.51 meters) long, 6.6 feet (2.01 meters) wide, and 5.8 feet (1.78 meters) high.

Through the EV, Audi also hopes to drive personalized in-vehicle experiences, providing users with the ability to integrate digital services from other providers. These can be used to access a wide range of services related to their trip, with the vehicle able to handle a variety of tasks, from arranging dinner reservations to shopping online from inside the car. The concept’s autonomy features will allow it to independently handle further functions – finding a parking space and charging the battery on the user’s behalf .

Customized infotainment offerings are also available, such as the integration of onboard music and video streaming services. Here, Audi will also offer customer perks, including access to concerts, cultural events, and sporting events tailored to their individual preferences.

All four seats, offered in a two-row configuration, are based on swiveling seats that allow the vehicle’s occupants to face each other. Likewise, a privacy screen mounted behind the headrest works the opposite way to provide occupants with an optional sense of seclusion. Additionally, each seat has its own sound zone – with speakers featured in the headrest area, while individual monitors for the rear occupants are built into the backs of the front seats.

When passengers want to use the central infotainment system together, a large-format, transparent, OLED screen pivots vertically from the roof area into the zone between the rows of the seats. Using this screen, the rear passengers can take part in a video conference together or access media content together or through a split-screen view. When the screen is not in use, its transparent design offers a clear view to the front. When folded upwards, it acts as a glass roof area to the sky.

The Audi Urbansphere also supports a variety of digital wellness features. Stress detection, an adaptive program, uses facial scans and voice analysis to determine how passengers are feeling – offering personalized suggestions for relaxation. Among these suggestions is the use of a meditation app that can be used through the personal screen and the private sound zone in the headrests.

Depending on the driving status – whether manual with a steering wheel or level 4 – the vehicle’s displays are distributed differently. Depending on the driving mode, they either span the width of the interior, or are segmented for the driver and front-seat passenger, displaying the necessary travel information required throughout the journey. A sensor bar integrated underneath the projection surfaces allows for quick switching between content and identifies the concept’s active functions and applications.

The Urbansphere’s MMI touchless response, located near the door cut-out on the interior cladding, can be used to physically select various function menus via a rotating ring and buttons. One use case here is selecting a desired recline level for the user’s seat. Even if the seat is fully reclined, passengers can still make use of the feature through biometric controls. A sensor directed at the eye detects their line of sight when the control unit is to be engaged. The passenger only needs to make hand movements that are similar to physical operation to operate the system hands-free. The Audi Urbansphere concept adjusts to the individual user, learning their preferences and frequently used functions to give personalized suggestions.

Control panels are similarly integrated into the armrests on the door, while VR glasses located in the armrests on the left and right doors can be used in conjunction with select infotainment options.

Based on Audi’s PPE EV platform, the four-wheel drive Urbansphere offers two electric motors capable of delivering a total output of 295 kW and a torque of 690 Nm. The concept car has one electric motor on each of the front and rear axles and a battery module between these axles that holds 120 kWh of energy. An 800V charging system allows for fast-charging at a maximum capacity of 270 kW, enabling more than 300 km (186 miles) of range to be replenished in ten minutes. Likewise, charging from five to eighty percent is expected to take less than 25 minutes.

While a range for the concept has not been confirmed, Audi expects it to cap at 750 kilometers (466 miles) based on the WLTP standard.