Audi introduced its concept car Audi AI: Trail at the IAA 2019. The car is special because it combines futuristic design with autonomous driving, electric mobility.
“In science fiction, a “flying submarine” shouldn’t be a new idea: James Bond never leaves home without a car that can both fly and submerge underwater, but that doesn’t exist in real life just yet” writes outerplaces.com. According to a study published by the team, the EagleRay uses little energy, has all the secrecy of a submersible and the speed of an aircraft, and uses a passively flooding and draining wing and a single electric motor/propeller combination that works in both the sky and the sea. At about 55 inches (140 centimeters) long with a wingspan of 59 inches (150 centimeters), it’s far too small for people to ride inside, but it’s a step toward the fancy cars that science fiction is so fond of. The drone uses much less energy underwater, allowing it to submerge for long periods of time in between flights, which could be helpful for following animals. William Stewart, a Ph.D. student and member of the team which worked on the craft, explained more about the EagleRay’s first-of-its-kind features in a press release from NCSU: “The EagleRay could also rapidly move underwater sensors from location to location. It could even perform underwater monitoring that most unmanned aerial vehicles can’t. For example, sonar only works underwater. If you’re looking for a sonar target, the EagleRay could fly to a site, submerge to take sonar readings and then resume flight to take readings elsewhere. Historically, an aircraft would have to drop sonobuoys to collect sonar data.”
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