Author Archive

Celebrate Raya with Mercedes-Benz

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Social News

 

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Book and register any Mercedes-Benz from now until 30th June 2019, and enjoy special financing offers of 6 months* Free Interest or 2 months* deferred repayments. For more information call us now at 244 1763 or 244 1777 or visit Mercedes-Benz showroom today. You’ll be glad you did! Terms and Conditions apply. #MercedesBenz #MercedesBenzBrunei

FashionValet Pop-Up is back

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in royal family, fashion, culture, Business, Social News

 

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 FashionValet General Manager Nadia Norzuhdy and BIBD Head of Retail Banking Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Md Jaafar. Photo by Bahyiah Bakir of Borneo Bulletin.
 

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Founder of @mukaku_comestics and @assalwaa.beauty.spa with HRH Princess Amal Rakiah
 

The annual event is back once more. Ladies will be spoilt for choices as they readied themselves for the upcoming festive of Hari Raya. The FashionValet pop-up event is currently being held at Indera Kayangan Ballroom and the first opening hours of the event was made exclusive to BIBD Perdana customers.

Now the event has been opened to public until 4th May (tomorrow) and it will be until 4pm.

Vivy Yusof made a one day appearance for her fans and of course, she’s the co-founder of FashionValet. Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Hj Md Jaafar, BIBD Head of Retail Banking, shared that BIBD’s partnership with FashionValet is more than just an annual pop-up event as it also showcases the local entrepreneurs at hand where they can be connected outside Brunei waters.

Some of the local vendors participating were Baitaal Hijab, Mumtaz Collections, Rozai Hijab, Mukaku Domestics and Mudaser. They were selected according to their ability to export and they will be trained by FashionValet on the know-how when it comes to being international. The said brands have already a proven track record locally and now it’s time for them to shine further. They also fall under the BIBD Catalyst program.

Good news for BIBD cardholders is that throughout the event, BIBD debit and credit cardholders will be entitled to exclusive discounts and earn double BIBD Hadiah Points which can be used to pay for utilities, donations, air miles and more.

So hurry yourself to FV pop up event before it’s over. Happy shopping and thanks to BIBD for making this possible yet again.

 

 

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Wu Chun and 200 people donated blood

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, charity, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Wu Chun posing with his kids after donating blood last weekend at Fitness Zone
 

It’s blood donation time and Fitness Zone has joined the bandwagon in the blood donation drive. It was their second blood drive in collaboration with Jerudong Park Medical Centre.

Also donating last weekend was Fitness Zone’s Managing Director and owner, Wu Chun. The blood donation drive was also part of the 6-month body transformation program known as the “New Me” challenge which has attracted more than 600 fitness enthusiasts.

Around 200 donated last weekend ranging from members, staff, the public and, of course, the challengers of the “New Me Transformation.” More than 200 bags were collected in the process.

Wu Chun said, “It’s truee that every or any extended hand towards charity makes a difference. One donor can save three lives and by this, we are truly grateful for all the heroes that joined us and in the past to be part of our initiatives to create changes and positive awareness through our communities.”

“I always tell my staff that you don’t have to be a manager or in a higher position or even a celebrity. While these can place an advantage, I told them to lead by example, little by little, as you inspire the world with this noble act.”

“Fitness Zone is not only here to train you to be fit but also change your body and lifestyle for the better. We aimed to make an impact by starting to train and having a good mindset to overcome any challenges. Our minds are powerful and courageous.”

For further information regarding registration for the upcoming events/membership enquiries, do contact Kiulap branch 223 2338 or Serusop branch 244 8488 or visit their Facebook or instagram page @fitnesszonebrunei. The health club is now opening doors for free consultation, health assessments by appointment.

 

 

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Meet Tony Stark’s new ride in Avengers 4

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, audi, automative

 

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Meet Tony Stark’s new ride in Avengers 4
 

This is the Audi e-tron GT and the third e-tron, unveiled at last year’s LA Motor Show. Yes it is all electric and news is the volume-production counterpart is set to follow in around two years.

A flat-floor architecture that provides for exciting proportions and a low center of gravity. 434 kW (590 metric horsepower) ensures performance fit for a sports car. The torque is transferred to the wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, as you would expect for such a dynamic Audi. The performance subsidiary Audi Sport GmbH has been tasked to subsequently transforming the car into a volume-production model.

Mohd Aritz Maldini, the youngest winner ever

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, charity, Social News, Sports

 


Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Dr Abdul Fattaah handing over the challenge trophy to Mohd Aritz Maldini Haji Abd Majid, the grand winner of the Baiduri Masters 2019 during the prize presentation dinner held at Manggis Mall Ballroom. Accompany them were Mr Ti Eng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank and Mr Andrew Young, Deputy General Manager of Operations Management Division, Diversification and Strategic Development cum President of the Baiduri Masters Organising Committee.
 


Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar receiving a token of appreciation for its support of the event from the Ministry of Health
 

Last weekend, the 24th Baiduri Masters charity golf tournament concluded with a prize presentation dinner at the Hua Ho Manggis Mall Ballroom, Hua Ho Manngis. The event was attended by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Dr Abdul Fattaah ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Perdana Wazir Sahibul Himmah Wal-Waqar Pengiran Muda Mohamed Bolkiah, Chairman of Baiduri Bank.

In his welcoming address, Mr Andrew Young, Deputy General Manager of Operations Management Division, Diversification and Strategic Development cum President of the Baiduri Masters Organising Committee, said “This is our 24th year of hosting the Baiduri Masters. The aim has always been centred towards supporting our community and making a difference. We have strived to raise funds for local organisations, particularly those that cater towards the differently abled individuals with the hope to improve or alleviate their burden.”

He further elaborated that the Baiduri Masters has added another organisation who will be receiving donations based on the funds raised during the event. “This year, we have included Demensia Brunei as another recipient to help them achieve their mission towards a dementia-friendly community.”

According to Mr Ti Eng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank, “As part of Baiduri Bank Group’s CSR framework, we have actively contributed towards various charity and educational initiatives such as the Junior Achievement Programme, Global Money Week, our Blood Donation Drive and our annual Let’s Give Back This Ramadhan activity. The Baiduri Masters has been our longest running and flagship charity event.” He further elaborated that the Baiduri Bank Group Charity Committee is currently exploring other ways to allow more involvement by our customers and the general public. “Moving forward, we are actively looking at different ways to facilitate community development initiatives, whether it be as a volunteer, a participant, a partner or a sponsor.”

 

 


The charitable foundation recipients who benefited from the golf event – JAPEM, SMARTER Brunei, Dana Hospital RIPAS, Learning Ladders Society, Child Development Centre, Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al Hajjah Maryam and Demensia Brunei
 


Johari Ahmad, the previous winner, about to hand over the green jacket to this year’s winner
 


Mohd Aritz Maldini Haji Abd Majid became the youngest ever winner for Baiduri Masters. He’s only 18 years old.
 

 


The lady champion for Baiduri Masters 2019
 


Golfers checking out the lucky draw numbers on the projector
 


It was a full house at Manggis Mall Ballroom
 

Shortly after, the presentation of tournament prizes took place. These included Nearest to the Pin, Nearest to the Line as well as Most Active Participant. The prizes were presented by Mr Leonard Lee, Head of Risk Management. In the nearest to the pin category for the first weekend, the winners were: Haji Budin Abdul Rahman (No. 7), Haji Mohd Redwan (No. 9), Eric Tsang (No. 13) and Yaakub Jumat (No. 16). For the second weekend, the winners were: Pg Musa Pg Haji Mohd Jaafar (No. 7), Suwardy Haji Ahmad (No. 9), Razak Hassan (No. 13) and Pg Fakrudden (No. 16). For the nearest to the line, the winner was Azahar Haji Abd Latib (No. 8).

This was followed by the presentation of Team Event, the Junior Division as well as Ladies Division (Nett). These prizes were presented by Pg Azaleen PD Haji Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network cum Vice President of the Baiduri Masters.

Next were the presentation of Men’s Division C as well as Men’s Senior Division Prizes. The prizes were presented by Haji Haliluddin Dato Paduka Haji Talib, General Manager of Baiduri Finance cum Vice President of the Baiduri Masters.

This was followed by the presentation of prizes for Men’s Division B and Men’s Division A by Mr Andrew Young. Shortly after, the presentation of Ladies and Men’s Gross Division were presented by Mr Ti Eng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank.

The event culminated with the presentation of the coveted Baiduri Masters Green Jacket as well as the official announcement of the champion of the 24th Edition of the Baiduri Masters. Presenting the Challenge Trophy to the champion, Mohd Aritz Maldini Haji Abd Majid was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Dr Abdul Fattaah. Mohd Aritz Maldini was also awarded a cash prize of BND1,500. Mohd Aritz Maldini concluded the tournament with a gross score of 70.

The event was also attended by sponsors, golfers as well as senior officials of the Baiduri Bank Group. The Baiduri Masters is organised by the Baiduri Bank Group with the support of the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, the Minister of Health, event partners QAF Brunei, QAF Auto, QAF Eurokars and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd.

 

 


Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Minister of Defence II also participated in the Baiduri Masters 2019
 


Some of the participants during the two weekend event
 


Some of the participants during the two weekend event
 

Norlaili wins BIBB’s Barakah 8

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Social News

 

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Norlaili binti Abidin was the winner of the Umrah travel package from BIBD Barakah 8
 

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) presented a mother of two with the winning of her lifetime after emerging as the grand prize winner of ‘Barakah 8’ campaign recently.

Norlaili binti Abidin won herself an Umrah travel package worth $25,000 through a draw in which 15 lucky finalists participated.

“I never expected to get such an opportunity throughout my banking experience with BIBD but then I got a call from the bank that I was selected for ‘Barakah 8’,” said the 51-year-old, who was ecstatic after she picked the winning number.

“Banking with BIBD has made my daily dealing easier, their facilities have helped me a lot in managing my finances and commitment. Facilities applications are also being approved timely and this is very helpful.”

Presenting the grand prize was the bank’s Head of Retail Banking, Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Md Jaafar.

Meanwhile prizes of the second and third round were presented by Hajah Rohani binti Hj Mohd Salleh, the bank’s Head of Sales and Alternative Channels.

Winners of the second and third round won themselves iPhone X and B&O BeoPlay A1 speakers respectively.

Throughout the campaign period, BIBD customers had the chance to win monthly prizes and were automatically entered into the grand draw to win travel packages for either Umrah or a Euro trip worth B$25,000, and other exclusive prizes.

To be eligible, customers have to subscribe to any of BIBD’s products and services or assign their salary to BIBD from July 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019. For more information on any of BIBD’s other products or services, please log on to the BIBD website at www.bibd.com.bn, visit your nearest BIBD branch or get in touch with the BIBD Contact Centre at 2238181.

 

 

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15 people were shortlisted for BIBD’s Barakah 8 and all of them walked away with awesome consolation prizes such as the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 speaker and the iPhone X
 

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Norlaili binti Abidin with her family after the winning the grand prize
 

Yuslinayati driving back a Hyundai

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Business, Social News

 

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Yuslinayati Yusof the grand winner of Pan Bright Travel Service 5th Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin campaign with her family and the manage of Pan Bright Travel Service
 

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The top three winners of the Pan Bright Travel campaign promotion
 

Finally the conclusion to the long campaign, again organised by Pan Bright Travel Service, where one could walk away with a Birkin bag or drive away a Hyundai Accent. Pan Bright has already become a household name in Brunei Darussalam when it comes to booking your flight tickets or your preferred travel agent. I was hoping to be short listed since I bought a few tickets from them as well but perhaps next time would be a much luckier prospect for me 🙂

Last night saw the top 15 vying for the top prize as they were already shortlisted a week prior to the grand draw. The grand prize of the Pan Bright Travel Service 5th Annual “Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin Promotion” 2019 was a brand new Hyundai Accent or an exclusive Hermès “Birkin” bag sponsored by the said travel agent.

On hand to present the grand prize was Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar, the Managing Proprietor of Pan Bright Travel Services. The grand winner was Yuslinayati Yusof who chose the Hyundai Accent instead of Birkin bag. Second prize went to Serine Khoo who won a trip to Melbourne while third prize went to Gary Young Chee Wai who won a trip to Seoul.

The good thing about the grand draw was that all the top 15 finalists will walk away with prizes sponsored by Baiduri Bank, Royal Brunei Airlines and Singapore Airlines. The prizes included return air tickets to Melbourne, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Beijing and Royal Skies Miles valued from 10,000 to 25,000.

Members of the media, senior management of Pan Bright Travel and other representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines, Baiduri Bank, Tourism Malaysia (Brunei) and Sabre Brunei were present to witness the event.

 

 

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Second prize went to Serine Khoo who won a trip to Melbourne sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines
 

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Third prize went to Gary Young Chee Wai who won a trip to Seoul sponsored by Singapore Airlines
 

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Consolation winners flying on Royal Brunei destinations
 

 

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Consolation winners flying on Singapore Airline destinations
 

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The short listed draw held last week prior to the grand draw
 

JBoxing is back next weekend!

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, automative, lifestyle, Business, Social News

 

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Jovian Mandagie with partners of the Boxing event next week
 

Continuing the success of 2 consecutive years of the annual ‘Raya’ sales event, JBoxing is returning to Brunei for its third year with brand new image, bigger venue, greater deals and more options from Jovian Ready-To-Wear for people to choose from.

Taking place at the Mercedes-Benz Autohaus from 26th to 28th of April 2019, 10 AM to 10 PM, the event is presented by the Bruneian powerhouse atelier and multi-label store, Bajoo Butik who remains as the Title Partner for the event and with an exclusive partnership with Jati Transport Sdn Bhd that is set to give a new reach, exposure and higher milestone.

“We have been so blessed with the overwhelming response we had received from our dearest Jovianistas in Brunei every year that without a fail, it’s the most exciting thing for us to keep coming back here. And this year, we thought we wanted to offer something bigger than what we’ve done before. New partners, new space and (of course) new collections!” –Dato’ Jovian Mandagie, Chief Executive Officer of Jovian Apparel Sdn Bhd and Creative Director of Jovian Ready-To-Wear.

 

 

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Jackie Lim, founder of Bajoo Batik, with Jovian Mandagie
 

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The crowd last night at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus
 

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Jovian speaking to the audience
 

To fill a much bigger space at the Mercedes-Benz Autohaus’ flagship showroom, the event will carry a range of new collections from ‘Secret Garden’, ‘Jovian x Ria Miranda’, ‘Jovian Men’, ‘Jovian x OhMostWanted’, ‘Retro Raya’ and ‘Lace Edition” from Jovian Basic Raya. Not to mention, there will Jovian Hijab Exclusive to be launched exclusively during J Boxing Brunei only.

Joining in as the official Event Partner for J Boxing, Maszalina Event Management Services is the brainwork behind this year’s event setup to ensure the best shopping experience. With over 16 years in the field, Maszalina Event Management Services has handled massive production from corporate events, wedding, sales event, annual dinner, expo, and many more.

Apart from that, J Boxing is also supported by its other main corporate partners such as Mix Media Worx as the Official Digital Media Partner, Nyonya as the Official Catering Partner and CItyneon as the Official Media Display Partner.

For this three-day event, Jovian Ready-To-Wear will give away 15 special items to 5 lucky shoppers each day, not to mention special deals and promotions that will be happening during the period of ‘Happy Hour’ that should not be missed. Prices start from as low as BND10 and discounts up to 50% on selected items.

 

 

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Jovian mingling with the management of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd
 

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Dinner at Autohaus last night
 

Check out EnduraPro Series from TEIN

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Business, Social News

 

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Lim Jin Lee, Executive Manager of AutoMagination (3rd from right) with representatives from TEIN, INC. Japan (in green) and management of AutoMagination during the launch of TEIN EnduraPro Series
 

The brand TEIN has been around in Brunei for the past few years. Many car enthusiasts will be aware of the TEIN brand as they are known for good quality shock absorbers for your car. Recently AutoMagination company has brought in newer models of TEIN absorbers which are known as TEIN EnduraPro series.

The latest models from TEIN was launched with the presence of the TEIN, INC (Japan), notably Mr. Yasushi Furubayashi, Director of TEIN, INC, Mr. Tomoaki Himeno, Overseas Sales Manger of TEIN, INC and Mr. Ayumu Kikuchi, Overseas Sales Person of TEIN, INC. Also present was Lim Jin Lee, Executive Manager of AutoMagination, the sole distributor of TEIN products.

For the record, TEIN, INC. is a well recognized reputable manufacturer and distributor of high-quality automative suspension parts. So if you really, really, really want good quality suspensions, the choice is definitely TEIN.

Now with a better version, the EnduraPro Series, you can expect comfort, reliability, durability and adjustability to cater to different road conditions (especially in Brunei), streets, highways and winding roads for better ride quality.

The new feature being highlighted is the Hydraulic Bump Stopper (HBS). Basically this feature helps to convert the impact of the stroke to thermal energy (heat) and absorb it. This means it reduces the impact that disturbs the vehicle’s behaviour. This also means less damage or harm on the dampers in the long run and hence, increases the durability of the shock absorbers.

If you prefer a much better absorber, then I would recommend the EnduraPro Plus because it’s adjustable – whether you want it softer or firmer. Furthermore, if you want a much better experience with the EnduraPro Plus, then invest in the EDFC series where it’s a gadget that sends signal via an electronic controller from the cockpit and remotely adjust the damping force.

So you may be wondering to which cars are suitable for this? Well, any comfort cars are highly recommended with the new TEIN absorbers, be it Japanese cars (Toyota, Nissan, Honda), be it Korean cars (Hyundai, Kia).

Those interested to know more about the TEIN latest products, do visit their showroom at Lambak Kanan Industrial Area at AutoMagination. Oh yea, it also offers one year warranty for all TEIN products.

Would I recommend to install one? I would say yes if you are concern too much about the roads here in Brunei and if you drive to Miri regularly, this would be so, so ideal because of the bumpy road conditions.

 

 

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The EnduraPro Plus (adjustable) and The EnduraPro absorbers
 

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Mr. Tomoaki Himeno, Overseas Sales Manger of TEIN, INC, explaining the EDFC series where you can use an electronic gadget to adjust the absorbers from the cockpit
 

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The older models from TEIN
 

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You can get a bundle package if you buy the EnduraPro Plus with the EDFC
 

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Lim Jin Lee believes many customers will appreciate the durability and features of the TEIN EnduraPro series
 

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Mobility for Megacities: Audi AI:ME

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in audi, Business, Social News

At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is introducing a visionary mobility concept for the megacities of the future: The showcar, known as the Audi AI:ME, offers compact dimensions, a spacious, futuristic interior, and the ability to drive autonomously at level 4. This allows the occupants to do what they like with their time on board. The Audi AI:ME offers a broad range of high-tech features for communication, entertainment, or simply relaxation.

 

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Audi AI:ME
 

The body line of the Audi AI:ME demonstrates how emotion and spatial economy can form a perfect synthesis in an electrically driven compact car. There is a reason that the name AI:ME emphasizes the relation to the Audi AIcon, the study of automated long-distance operation introduced in 2017. The affinity of the body line and the concept of these two cars will become evident in Shanghai, as the AIcon will flank the world premiere on the stage of the Audi booth at Auto Shanghai 2019.

Compact architecture, electric drive: The concept

With an exterior length of 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) and a width of 1,90 meters (6.2 ft), the Audi AI:ME takes up as much traffic space as a present-day compact car. However, the wheelbase of 2.77 meters (3 ft) and the height of 1.52 meters (5 ft) indicate interior dimensions that are more likely to be found in the next higher class at least. This is made possible by the architecture of the electric drive. It allows for short overhangs and a large-volume interior without a propeller shaft tunnel. The drive unit is positioned on the rear axle and mobilizes 125 kW (170 metric hp).

For the occupants, the compact drive package offers a maximum amount of objectively available space, spatial comfort, and a great deal of variability. The Audi AI:ME is designed as a 2 plus-x-seater. Its layout relies on a variety of configurations for seat positions and stowage space. While only the individual seats at the front will be used during most journeys, the car offers space for up to four people in the front and on the rear bench if necessary.

Audi AI:On our way to automated mobility

Audi AI:ME and Audi AIcon: two concept cars whose very names refer to the new, two-letter abbreviation under which Audi is bundling an entire cluster of innovative mobility technologies. Audi AI is the cipher for a variety of electronic systems that relieve strain on drivers and simultaneously offer them new possibilities to use the time spent in the car. To this end, Audi AI also uses strategies and technologies from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Audi AI also combines vehicle intelligence, which makes automated driving possible in the first place, and interaction intelligence, which turns the vehicle into the occupants’ partner. The name of the Audi AI:ME thus already makes the connection between AI and the users themselves.Audi AI systems are capable of learning and thinking, while also being proactive and personal. Thanks to Audi AI, models bearing the four rings will be both intelligent and empathetic in the future. They will be able to continually interact with their surroundings and passengers, and thus adapt themselves in a better way than ever before to the requirements of those on board.

Automated driving at level 4: Relax while gliding through the city
What is long established in rail transportation and even aviation is at the threshold of a breakthrough in automotive transportation—automated driving. The Audi AI:ME is designed for use in the city and for driving at what is known as level 4. This is the second-highest level on a standardized international scale for increasing automation. Although systems with level 4 do not require any assistance on the part of the driver, their function is limited to a specific area—such as highways or a specially equipped area in inner cities. In these places, the driver can completely transfer the task of driving to the system. The driver needs to resume the task only when the car leaves the area defined for fully automated driving. By contrast to the Audi AIcon, a vehicle with level-5 function that is always fully autonomous, the Audi AI:ME is therefore equipped with the traditional steering wheel and pedalry control elements in addition.

This means that the car, as well as the remaining road users, will drive automatically in a defined traffic area equipped with the corresponding infrastructure in the future. Self-regulating and self-controlling flows of traffic allow the vehicle to glide along calmly, avoiding heavy longitudinal or lateral acceleration. This is an important requirement for the occupants of the car to be able to detach themselves mentally from the traffic around them.

 

 

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Luxurious refuge and high-tech control center: the interior
Audi AI fundamentally changes how automobiles are used and significantly enhances the time spent on board. The car is increasingly becoming a “third living space” alongside our homes and workplaces. It is thus only consistent that the Audi designers did not subordinate the interior of the Audi AI:ME to the shape of the body. On the contrary. They prioritized the interior and made it the core of the whole vehicle. The focus here is less on the traditional connection between driver and vehicle—steering wheel, instruments, pedals—and more on the time spent in the automated vehicle. This is why these control elements are retracted with an elegant and sophisticated choreography and are then almost fully concealed by a stowage compartment with a surface made of open-pore walnut wood.

In general: Stowage space will become more important than before in automated vehicles. The Audi AI:ME features large areas both on the cockpit cover and between the front seats that conceal a further innovative detail: Magnets serve as cup holders and hold metal cups or plates in place as required. Occupants can enjoy a relaxed meal while riding in the automated Audi AI:ME.

No matter what they are doing, the passengers can always find a comfortable seating position. The front seats are inspired by the classic lounge chair and feature a wide, comfortably cushioned seat, upholstered with textile material in warm shades of gray. The backrests are designed as curved shells that are attached to the seat cushion only with a vertical carrier. When the pedalry is not needed, drivers can rest their feet on the supports under the dashboard, such as on an ottoman. On the rear bench, which reaches around to the side sections of the car, occupants can vary their seating position almost any way they like.

The horizontal angle in the deep window in the interior is a significant element of the side section—a feature quoted from the Audi AIcon, so to speak. It offers an obvious ergonomic advantage to the occupants: It extends the range of motion of the arm resting on the door rail and also visually increases the size of the entire interior to a significant degree.

The vehicle and as the communication and interaction systems are operated by means of eye tracking, voice input, and touch-sensitive fields in the door rail. They are positioned perfectly in terms of ergonomics and are normally integrated into the surface, making them invisible. The lighting is activated only when approached, and guides the user’s gaze to the functional surfaces.

There is a multifunctional, three-dimensional OLED monitor that runs below and along the entire length of the windshield and is used primarily in dialogue with eye-tracking control. Terminologically coded function menus, for example for navigation or infotainment, can be activated with the eye and then open up further levels that move from the background into the sharp view mode on the 3D monitor.

There are VR goggles on board for the visual output of the infotainment system. They turn Internet use, watching movies, or even interactive gaming into a fascinating experience for the passengers. Audi demonstrated the possibilities that await us in the future with the Holoride system at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Here, the vehicle’s own movement is detected by a sensor system and then integrated interactively into the visual course of a game. Passengers feel like they are literally in the midst of the action.

The occupants experience the interior of the Audi AI:ME not simply as a means of transport, but as a luxurious atmosphere with numerous high-tech features. It also literally acts as a filter that keeps out the omnipresent traffic all around. The high-quality audio system is coupled with noise compensation that can completely suppress the outside noise level by means of active noise control. This allows occupants to enjoy meditative silence or listen to music in concert-hall quality in the Audi AI:ME.

Surfaces and structures that are familiar from the home environment dominate even in terms of the materials. High-quality textiles, some of which are made of recycled products, wood, and the touchpads in the door rails made of the mineral composite material Corian, which is particularly pleasant to touch, give the predominantly technical character of the vehicle a cozy and luxurious touch. The interior gets its special ambiance from the tension between the natural and technological elements. Large glass surfaces in the deep windows and the roof area make the interior light and transparent. Electro-chromatic control can insulate the entry of light and heat if necessary, and shield the interior with the continuously tintable windows. Filigree wooden struts in the roof area create a pergola above the interior.

The use of real plants in the interior of the automobile is a first. Vegetation, which is rarely found in the hostile city environment, gives occupants a feeling of proximity to nature and helps to objectively improve air quality in the automobile at the same time. Sophisticated filter technology prevents odors from traffic and the city from entering into the interior of the Audi AI:ME in the first place.

Systems that determine the stress levels for vital parameters also serve the wellbeing of the occupants. Intelligent algorithms allow the Audi AI:ME to get to know the driver better and better and improve their options in a specific manner.

A face in the crowd: the exterior

The Audi AI:ME is immediately recognizable even in the rearview mirror: Its face is characterized by the hexagonal Singleframe with the inverted shape and surface typical for an electric Audi. The architecture of the body is a newcomer to the pool of Audi shapes. If you look closer, though, the relation to the Audi AIcon concept car introduced in 2017 becomes apparent. Despite the completely different proportions, there are clear similarities in the precise graphics of the contours and the long arch of the roof line. But the main connection between the two different autonomous vehicles is the significant angle in the side windows.

The exterior differs strongly from the mainstream competition. The Audi AI:ME is a targeted alternative design. More than just a hint of a wedge shape, the accentuated and drawn out wheel wells that are typical for the brand and the striking window graphics create a highly emotional overall shape. The traffic area is clearly subordinate to the small space requirement: With an exterior length of 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) and a width of 1.90 meters (6.2 ft), the vehicle fits into the compact car segment. Its height of 1.52 meters (5 ft) offers great advantages in the interior in particular, and gives occupants a sense of ample space, makes it easy to get in, and offers excellent headroom. The large side doors that open in opposite directions and are fastened at the front and back also facilitate getting into the vehicle. And yet, the Audi AI:ME does not appear as a cubic van, but exudes dynamism even at a standstill. Large 23-inch wheels emphasize this appearance.

See and be seen—the lighting
With the self-driving cars of the future, headlights will have a part-time job at best because the driver will be concerned with other things most of the time and will rarely need the road to be brightly illuminated. It is another function of the lighting that takes on a more important role here: communicating with other road users. The Audi AIcon already demonstrated how digital matrix luminous surfaces can use moving graphics to output clearly understandable signals relating to the driving condition and, of course, also to mark the vehicle itself.

The Audi AI:ME takes this approach one step further: As road users come even closer in the city, the traditional positions of the front and rear lights are often not visible. Because of this, Audi lighting designers integrated LED elements in the body in an unusually high position above the wheel wells, where they are visible from all angles. This 360-degree communication is an important additional safety feature for pedestrians or cyclists.

Like in the AIcon, the LED units at the front and the micro matrix projectors can use easily identifiable symbols to signal to pedestrians when the AI:ME is letting them cross the road, for example. The graphics can be projected onto the road or a wall. This function is also used to illuminate the door area to ensure that occupants can enter or exit the vehicle safely and also to mark the vehicle for other road users. The matrix projectors can also provide additional safety to other road users with weaker lighting by automatically illuminating their surroundings.

The Audi AI:ME features a further innovation: It can interpret signals from other vehicles and use its own lighting technology to amplify them if this benefits the surroundings. Example: A vehicle driving in front indicates danger with faint hazard warning flashers. The AI:ME can detect this signal and amplify it with projections and the LED units on the body so that it is clearly visible to all road users.

As a level 4 vehicle, the Audi AI:ME is equipped with bright LED headlights and perfectly visible brake and tail lights for all those situations in which drivers take the wheel themselves. When driving actively, being able to see is just as important by night as it is by day in the future, too.

 

 

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Mobile for hours: the drive architecture

Audi took a targeted approach to tailoring the specifications of the AI:ME to the scope of use of a city car. This means that extreme acceleration values and top highway speeds are just as obsolete as high cornering speeds and ranges that are suitable for driving long distances. An automobile like the AI:ME will drive predominantly in the speed range between 20 and 70 km/h (12.4 and 43.5 mph) and will often have to remain mobile for hours at a time without charging. However, long ranges in terms of kilometers are less relevant than the ability to make good use of the operating time.

The engineers therefore drew on a comparatively simple, yet light, basic configuration. A battery unit with a storage capacity of 65 kilowatt hours is sufficient for meeting these requirements. A permanently excited synchronous motor that can mobilize 125 kW (170 metric hp) if necessary operates in the area of the rear axle of the AI:ME. A fraction of this is usually sufficient for keeping up with the flow of city traffic. Thanks to brake energy recuperation and its comparatively low weight, the Audi AI:ME exhibits extremely low energy consumption even in city traffic.

The axles and other components of the suspension are found in the portfolio of compact sister models of the Audi portfolio. The tried and tested combination of adaptive dampers and small unsprung masses ensures good ride comfort in the city. The body is made of a light-weight multi-material compound consisting of high-tech steel, aluminum, and plastic components, particularly in the attachments.

Audi on request: innovative offer concepts

After the Audi AIcon, which debuted at the International Motor Show in 2017, and the radical Audi PB 18 sports car, which was introduced in the summer of 2018, the Audi AI:ME is now the brand’s third vision vehicle to present an offer for use in clearly defined areas (“use cases”). While the Audi AIcon offers the qualities of a business jet for long-distance drives, the PB 18 is a vehicle for the occasional trip to the race track. The Audi AI:ME is the perfect companion for use in conurbations. A fourth vision vehicle will complete the concept quartet at the International Motor Show in September 2019.

The top priority given in the specifications for these test mules is not to design an all-rounder for the versatile and long-term spectrum of use of a heterogeneous clientele. These are highly specialized premium automobiles that can be ordered as needed and with extensive possibilities for individualization as part of an on-demand offer. This approach is based on the requirement profile of many customers, especially in urban areas, which is undergoing a transition. Automobiles are to be available and ready for use upon request and should ideally be custom tailored, but they need not pass into permanent personal ownership. However, premium customers still demand that they can order their automobiles with as many individual features as possible—and, of course, with the same high quality they are used to and expect—from the Audi.

Customers who book a vehicle will then not only get their desired vehicle, but can also have it configured to suit their personal preferences as far as possible. The color, interiors, and technical options can be pre-configured online with the app or via the driver details stored in the “myAudi” system. Even drivers’ preferred interior temperature, the perfect ergonomical seat adjustment, and their personal music library are already activated when they get into the car.

This offer is accessible and easy to use via an app that connects the vehicle order, personal preferences of the user, and numerous options that can be used while driving. Users make use of this app to order their Audi AI:ME and can preorder the car with two or more seats, and even a child’s seat, as required. They will find the AI:ME at the requested time and in the agreed-upon place and can simply park it somewhere after using it. In zones with the appropriate equipment, the vehicle can even travel between the depot and the customer’s address without a driver.

The app, which is operated via a smartphone and in the car itself, also serves as an assistant and intermediary for many other services. For example, it can be used for spontaneous communication with friends via the Internet or social media. Users can take selfies on board and share them in social networks. They can access the entire Internet for the purposes of entertainment, research, and service. Users can order food on the way and make a quick, automated stop at a restaurant to have it delivered to the car, and then enjoy their meal in the vehicle on their way home.

The connection between the user’s home network and the Audi AI:ME even allows users to continue watching a movie using the VR goggles in the car, picking up where they left off at home. On their way home from work, they can close their eyes, enjoy the silence on board, and relax.

The Audi AI:ME becomes a fixed point in its user’s personal digital biotope. The tedious daily journey from A to B turns into an enjoyable ride with free time.  After they have arrived at their destination, the users can get out of the car, relaxed and in good spirits, and do not even have to look for a parking spot or charging station. The Audi AI:ME will find its own way back to the depot.

“Audi on demand” is available in metropolises on several continents and is already the perfect example of the future expansion of Audi’s offer into a global mobility service provider. With the simultaneous expansion and specialization of the vehicle fleet, this program will become even more attractive to customers with high demands in the future. The premium vehicle offer itself and the digital integration of the automobile and living environment will give the Audi brand a head start in this segment, too: Vorsprung durch Technik.

 

Contact RA

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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