BERLIN -- Audi's three Sphere concept cars will show the automaker's ideas for how car interiors will look when hands-free driving becomes a reality.
When cars can drive themselves safely and drivers can disconnect from traffic, the interior will become "a free space for relaxing, networking, or even actively communicating," Audi says.
Audi will unveil three concepts for fully autonomous, full-electric cars during upcoming auto events.
The first, called the Skysphere, will debut at the Monterey Car Week in California from August 12 to August 15. The Grandsphere will premiere at the Munich auto show in September. The third model, the Urbansphere, will be revealed in the first half of 2022, Audi in a statement.
The "sphere" name used for the concepts is derived from Audi's concept of a holistic interior compartment that envelops passengers and offers them alternative experiences while the car is in motion.
A digital ecosystem of apps and services will extend these experiences beyond the car, Audi said.
The Grandsphere is expected to have an interior "living space" offering lounge-like opportunities to its occupants over long distances when the car will mostly drive itself.
The Sphere concepts are closer to reality than Audi's highly conceptual AI:CON or AI:ME vehicles.
The Sphere cars will provide a glimpse of the technologies and interior spaces expected to turn up in the company's production cars starting in the mid-2020s, Audi said.
"You will get a glimpse at the Munich show of how our new models will look, starting with the interior as the main focus and then the exterior developed around that," Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe. "You will get an indication of how the interior might develop with Level 4 autonomy and you will also see the car being operated."