The key-ring of your automobile may very well become obsolete in the long run, with its eminent place being taken over by some craftily designed smartwatch. At least that is what Audi wants to convey, as is evident from the automaker’s CES showcasing of a LG wearable, and how it beckoned the self-driving Prologue Concept Car. This nifty car-calling trick by the smartwatch entailed the starting of the engine, and then the automobile’s slow yet refined ascent to the stage – with the entire show being exhibited by none other than the company’s R&D chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.
The autonomous Prologue Concept Car is envisioned with a hybrid power-train that comprises of a 4.0-liter TFSI V8 petrol engine and a 2.6 kWh Li-ion battery pack. This entire setup will account for a substantial 668bhp and 950Nm of torque, while connecting to an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, the ‘piece de resistance’ feature in question here encompasses car’s new Audi-formulated Piloted Driving technology. The tech scope allows the car to communicate with the aforementioned smartwatch – which was presumably developed in collaboration with electronic giant LG.
In fact, on closer inspection, one can make out LG’s famed G Watch R bearing, albeit with an improved metal and leather workmanship. But there is certainly more to this wearable than its commercially inspired design suggests. For starters, the watch displays a customized UI, which is rumored to be powered by an Open webOS, as opposed to Android Wear. And even beyond the interface stage, both the hardware and software components of the wearable had been tinkered with – to sync up innately with the systems of the Prologue Concept Car.
But what about the intended functionality of the car-controlling LG smartwatch, other than just some show-stopping exhibition? Well, for one, the smartwatch can establish a secure NFC connection with the car that can be used to remotely lock/unlock the vehicle, even if the core battery power of the wearable is down and out. Moreover, the device boasts of biometric sensors that can gauge the body heat and heart rate of the driver. These essential parameters MIGHT be used to regulate the internal micro-climate of the car – aided by an intelligent system.
Lastly, on the less-highfalutin side of affairs, Hackenberg has alluded to a streamlined rental car system where people can access their vehicles without having to go through the cumbersome process of checking at a physical counter. But of course, this commercial scope is presumably still a few years away, with the collaborative technology still under development.