November 6, 2013
German automaker Audi is enlisting 12 United States undergraduates for a six-week practicum in the summer of 2014 to investigate how mobility will evolve in the coming decades.
Major cities around the world are experiencing increasing population density that place a strain on public and private resources, especially transportation. The U.S. undergraduates will explore ideas that address how automobiles will adapt to the stressed infrastructure and shifting availability of resources.
"Audi AG sees a compelling case for understanding today the challenges and opportunities that await personal transportation a generation from now on issues, such as chaotic traffic in the world’s burgeoning mega-cities, tighter emissions regulations and increasing expectations for driver assistance systems," said Brad Stertz, corporate communications manager at Audi of America, Herndon, VA.
The Audi Future of Mobility Practicum will take place at Audi's factory in Ingolstadt, Germany. The program will be modeled on the automaker's current internship programs but will only be open to U.S. undergraduates studying "forward-looking fields."
Topics that will be explored include Big Data, sensors, electric vehicles, safety engineering and urban planning.
Audi will offer the two students with the most inventive concepts a chance to extend their internship for another six months. During this period, Audi's technical development team in Germany will help the students further develop their concepts.
Interested U.S. undergraduate students can apply for the program until Nov. 30. Audi will announce the 12 finalists in January 2014.
Further information can be found at www.AudiFutureMobility.de.
The German automaker has worked with U.S. universities in the past to study issues such as mega-city traffic conditions. Audi AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies through 2016, according to the brand.
The unbridled sales that many brands have experienced this year have likely boosted educational efforts (see story).
However, luxury automakers have always understood that investing in education can positively impact their industry in the future.
For instance, Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is encouraging students to devise creative solutions for environmental problems with the possibility of winning a share of $500,000 in grants and scholarships.
The Lexus Eco Challenge calls for students in the U.S. to develop strategies in response to land and water or air and climate issues. Through this initiative the brand is demonstrating its investment in the future of the environment and science by supporting young scientists (see story).
The German automaker's record as a proponent of education demonstrates the brand's commitment to community.
"Audi has a long tradition of sponsoring university research partnerships in the U.S. on future technologies, such as navigation systems, advanced driver assistance, human-machine interface approaches and autonomous driving," Mr. Stertz said.
"Among our partners have been Stanford University, MIT, University of Southern California, University of Michigan and University of California at San Diego," he said.
"These partnerships help the students, and they help Audi to gain fresh perspectives in these fast-moving technological frontiers."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York