Audi Grandsphere Christmas ad 2022

Audi’s 2022 Christmas advert shows Santa getting a new sleigh… a self-driving concept car

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Santa’s self-driving Audi is not a flying toy

Audi’s new Christmas advert features Santa “swapping reindeers for something a little more progressive”, the amazing self-driving Grandsphere… just make sure you read the small print:

“The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.”

Self-driving Grandsphere

Audi’s new Xmas ad features a self-driving concept car

Here at Cars of the Future we’ve had our eye on the Grandsphere for a while, highlighting its fold-away steering wheel back in September 2021. Phenomenal tech, no doubt, but we’re a bit conflicted about this advert.

On the one hand, we love that Audi is giving the public a glimpse of the near future, normalising the idea of driverless.

On the other, we have the wise words of Matthew Avery, chief strategic research officer at Thatcham Research, ringing in our ears: “With more than half of the UK public believing that autonomous driving is here today, the perception is racing ahead of the reality.

“This demonstrates just how much work needs to be done to set realistic consumer expectations of the first vehicles offering limited self-driving functionality, when they do become available.”

Audi self-driving Grandsphere advert small print 2022
Audi self-driving Grandsphere advert small print 2022

It is a bit of an odd advert, isn’t it? Reminiscent of the scene in Toy Story when Buzz Lightyear watches the ad telling him he’s not a flying toy!

For a more comprehensive (and realistic) look at the car, we recommend this 5-minute mini documentary detailing how Marc Lichte, Head of Design at Audi, and his team, brought this vision of the future to life:

A more realistic look at the Grandsphere concept car
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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched in 2019.