A complete design cycle, research and development project sponsored by the Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) of Volkswagen of America, Inc. as part of the Stanford ME310 Global Design & Innovation course. The project spanned nine months of aggressive prototyping, testing and development to create a “smart handbook” for the car of the future. Our solution, “Audi Assist”, combined an array of embedded sensors to track the location of the driver’s hands, as well as contextual awareness of vehicle speed, weather conditions and other parameters to determine an “information flow” for a one-touch help feature. The system, as a whole, was a multimodal information exchange platform that has far-reaching implications for the future of human-machine interaction.

Reactions to the prototype were extremely positive, and the prototype vehicle (with Audi Assist installed) was shipped to Audi HQ in Ingolstadt, Germany for further development. Audi recently released an iPhone application that was directly inspired by our work on this project, using augmented reality to explore and learn about the vehicle.

This project was a collaboration between the Volkswagen ERL, Stanford University, the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and the Potsdam Film & Television Academy. The project team included Christin Koitschka, Greg Kress, Evan Kutter, Tine Papendick, Joel Sadler and Victor Saar.

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