Picture caption: The historic test
drive of 560 miles of piloted driving from Silicon Valley ended in Las Vegas on
January 5, 2015. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management
responsible for Technical Development (holding German flag) celebrated the
successful drive with the team that accomplished it, along with Ricky Hudi,
Executive Vice President Electric/Electronic Development (holding US flag)
together with ‘Jack’.
The long-distance test drive with
the Audi A7 piloted driving concept concluded on January 5, 2015 following its
560-mile (900 km approx.) journey. A selected group of journalists were able to
experience piloted driving from behind the wheel during the drive that began in
Silicon Valley, California and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada in time to attend the
International CES 2015 (Consumer Electronics Show). The concept vehicle impressed
particularly through its ability to provide a comfortable drive in real world,
everyday driving situations. This was stated in a press release issued byAudi.
The Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro
piloted driving concept proved itself very cabable of driving in traffic just
as customers do on a daily basis. Journalists that were behind the wheel were
impressed with the concept cars ability to drive comfortably and in the logical
user interface for which Audi is known. “The
results of the test drive underscores our piloted driving competency“, said
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development,
adding that “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 journalists were able to
experience piloted driving in 100 mile stints in various traffic situations on
public highways. As required by State laws in California, an experienced Audi
test driver accompanied the drive from the passenger seat.
The concept vehicle utilises
various production-ready sensors as well as sensors integrated into production
vehicles today that accurately detect the vehicles surroundings. Adaptive
cruise control (ACC) and Audi side assist (ASA) long-range radar sensors as
well as mid-range radar sensors at the front and the rear of the vehicle that
are directed to the left and right of the vehicle provide the vehicle with a
360 degree view of its environment. Laser scanners are integrated into the
front Singleframe grille as well the rear bumper to provide additional detailed
recognition of static or dynamic objects. The redundance of the sensor data
consists of 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 new Audi Q7, observes the surrounding
traffic surrounding the vehicle. The sensors utilises is close to production
and meets financial targets for inclusion into future products.
The concept relieves the driver
of driving duties from 0 to 70 mph, or just over 110 km/h. The car can initiate
lane changes and passing maneuvers as well as accelerate and brake
independently. Before initiating a lane change to the left or the right (on US
highways), 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 piloted driving system
reaches its limitations, in city environments for example, the driver is
requested to take control of the vehicle to ensure proper safety. Multiple
warning signals work in unison: coloured LEDs at the base of the windshield,
signals in the driver information display, a Central Status Indicator (CSI), as
well as a acoustic warning indicator requires the driver to retake control.
Audi will present its “Next
Chapter” at CES from January 6th through 9th, 2015 in Las Vegas. A multitude of
technologies and two world premieres including the interior model of the new Q7
and another concept car 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 will be presented. These and additional highlights of
piloted driving will be shown. At the centre of all of these topics is the car
and its communication with its surroundings.
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