AUDI (ALMOST) OUT ON ITS OWN: This Audi A7 concept has completed a 900km drive - much of it in autonomous mode - en route to the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Image: Audi
• Autopilot Audi does 900km to Vegas
• ‘Jack’ impresses with city driving
• System proved 'in real world'
• More Audi stuff for show 2015 ICES
LOS ANGELES, California - An Audi A7 has covered 900km from Silicon Valley in Los Angeles to Las Vegas in Nevada, much of it on autopilot, to be displayed at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show.
The automaker reckons it will be one of the stars of ICES from Jan 6-9 2015.
Starting very appropriately in California’s famous Silicon Valley, the Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro 'piloted driving' concept’s long-haul test drive was witnessed – mostly hands-free – by members of the news media. It proved itself capable of providing a comfortable drive in everyday, real world, driving, particularly in the kind of traffic that commuters encounter every day.
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Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's board member for technical development, said: “The results of the test drive underscore our piloted driving competency. I’d like to thank the team of Audi engineers, VW Group R&D and the Electronics Research Laboratory for making it such a great success.”
The test-drive resulted in "actionable data to help further development of Audi piloted driving". The automaker said it involved the longest drive yet done by an aujtonomous Audi at full road speeds with the public behind the wheel, each of whom was able to experience auto-piloted driving in 160km stints in various traffic situations on public highways.
LASER SCANNERS AND RADAR
The drive covered 896km and, as required by California law, was accompanied by an experienced Audi test driver who monitored proceedings from the passenger seat.
The concept vehicle used various production-ready sensors and sensors already in production vehicles to identify its surroundings. Adaptive cruise (vehicle following) radar and side-assist long-range radar as well as mid-range radar front and the rear to scan left and right created a 360-degree view of its environment.
Laser scanners in the radiator grille and rear bumper provided detailed recognition of static or moving objects.
The validity of the sensors during autonomous driving, Audi said, was assured by continuous plausibility checks to make sure the car was making the correct decisions. Four smaller cameras front and rear provided short-range information about the environment.
A high-resolution, wide-angle, 3D video camera, which will first be seen in the next Audi Q7, observed traffic around the vehicle.
SAFETY IN THE CITY
The concept relieves the driver of driving duties at up to 130km/h. The car is capable of initiating lane changes and overtaking as well as acceleration and braking. Before a lane change, left or right, the vehicle adapted its speed to surrounding vehicles and, if the speed and distance calculations were deemed safe, executed the lane change.
During the journey the driver was requested to take control before the car reached its safe limitations, such as in city traffic.
Audi will present its “Next Chapter” at CES until January 9 2015 in Las Vegas and said the technologies of today and the projects of tomorrow would be presented at one of the most relevant, trendsetting electronic trade shows in the world.
A multitude of technologies and two world premieres - one of them the interior of the new Q7 - will demonstrate the technological competencies of Audi. Primary topics will include new user and display interfaces, modern infotainment and new Audi connect solutions, as well as LED and laser-matrix lighting technologies.
These and additional highlights of autonomous driving will be shown.
Share much of the trip with an un-named driver who did the LA-Vegas drive on much the same roads as those travelled by the Autonomous Audi.