Audi Q3 Mobility Concept is the CUV for Millennial Skater Punks
Think of it as an escape hatch for multimodal transportation.
Urban planners, automakers preparing for the new autonomous world, and dozens of start-ups are trying to make personal transport more efficient. They're all working on multi-vehicle transportation mixes, trying to assure that you can drive to a point near the city center, then move around a downtown that doesn’t allow cars, or cover the last mile from the metro stop to your destination. The Audi Q3 Connected Mobility Concept, just introduced at Auto China in Beijing, is one novel solution: by stowing a 3.44-foot long, multi-purpose electric longboard in the rear bumper, it offers two versatile modes of transport in one package.
Dreamed up by Audi Research & Development in Beijing, the Q3’s navigation system uses real-time traffic data to figure out when it’s best to stay in the car and when it’s best to hop on the carbon fiber and aluminum longboard. When the board is the better option, the navigation suggests a parking spot nearby. Once removed from the rear tray – which doubles as a charging dock so your auxilliary wheels are always ready – the board can be utilized in three configurations. A flip-up handle turns it into a scooter with a range of 7.4 miles and a top speed of 18.6 miles per hour. An app handoff automatically transfers the directions from the car to the owner’s phone, which can be clipped to the handlebars. For skater types, the wheeled plank can be ridden like a traditional longboard with its speed controlled by a handheld remote. In beast-of-burden mode, the board is a dolly for heavy goods that the owner just doesn’t feel like carrying.
We figure the Q3 Connected Mobility Concept has a zero-percent chance of making it into production. But we have four words for any Silicon Valley types who could engineer a cost-effective aftermarket product with this functionality: Do you take cash?