Audi A7 Sportback piloted driving concept arrives in Las Vegas following 560 mile drive
Audi's self driving car, the A7 piloted driving concept, has concluded its longest on-road test yet following a 900 kilometre journey.
A small group of journalists were able to experience Audi's piloted driving technology from behind the wheel during the drive which began in Silicon Valley, California and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada in time to attend the International 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. The concept vehicle impressed particularly through its ability to provide a comfortable drive in everyday driving situations.
The A7 piloted driving concept proved itself a highly capable platform in real-world conditions, managing to safely negotiate regular traffic situations in the same manner as a human driver would.
"The results of the test drive underscores our piloted driving competency", said Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi board member for technical development.
The test drive resulted in data which will help to further develop the Audi piloted driving program.
The journalists on the trip were able to experience piloted driving in 160 kilometer stints in various traffic situations on public highways . In total, the the drive was approximately 900 kilometre long and as required by State laws in California, an experienced Audi test driver was directly in attendance for the full drive sitting in the passenger seat.
The piloted driving concept uses an array of production ready sensors as well as sensors already in use in Audi cars to accurately detect the vehicles surroundings. Specifically, the concept uses Audi's adaptive cruise control and side assist long-range radar sensors as well as mid-range radar sensors at the front and rear of the car give the A7 piloted driving concept a 360 degree view of its environment.
On top of the radar sensors, laser scanners are integrated into the front grille and rear bumper to provide additional detailed recognition of static or dynamic objects. The extra sensor data from the secondary system helps the car to perform a continuous plausibility check during piloted driving to ensure the correct decisions are being made the vehicle and the driver.
Four smaller cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle provide short-range information of the surrounding environment. The hi-resolution, wide-angle 3D video camera, which will first see production in the the new Audi Q7, observes the surrounding traffic surrounding the vehicle. The sensors utilizes is close to production and meets financial targets for inclusion into future products.
A hi-resolution, wide-angle 3D video camera, that will first see production in the the new Audi Q7, looks at the traffic surrounding the vehicle. The sensor package is close to production and meets financial targets to be also included into future Audi products.
On the road the Piloted Driving Concept can relieve the driver of driving duties anywhere from 0 to 110 km/h. Programmed to behave like the ideal driver, the concept can initiate lane changes and passing maneuvers as well as accelerate and brake independently.
In some cases it is conceivable that the Piloted Driving concept is safer than most human drivers. For instance, before initiating a lane change, the vehicle adapts its speed to surrounding vehicles. If the speed and distance calculation is deemed safe, the vehicle initiates the lane change with precision and in a timely manner.
Before the system reaches its limitations such as crowded city environments, the car alerts the driver with a multitude of warning signals.
The Consumer Electronics Show runs from January 6 to 9 in Las Vegas.