Audi will be heading to the 2015 CES show, a global consumer and technology trade show, in an Audi A7 Sportback. You may well be wondering what Audi is doing at such a show and out of its comfort zone, its all about a 550 mile (900km) demonstration of self driving technology.
The A7 Sportback is equipped with the latest autonomous technology. Laser’s and radar combined with a CPU are now so advanced it allows the A7 to be programmed and self drive the route from Stanford, California to Las Vegas.
The tech demonstration is of course a publicity stunt to highlight the cutting edge capabilities of self driving vehicles, invited members of the press will get behind the wheel for the duration of the test which is expected to arrive just as the show opens today.
“The test drive from the west coast of California to Las Vegas demonstrates our leadership role in piloted driving “, said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member and Head of Technical Development.
The test drive in real world traffic and road conditions represents a joint effort by the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) and Volkswagen Group Research and Development, began on 4th January.
Audi say much of the autonomous technology is close to production ready status. A new hi-resolution 3D video camera, already integrated into the next generation systems found in the new Q7, takes a wide-angle view out in front of the vehicle. Four small front and rear mounted cameras view closer surroundings. Navigation data is used for basic vehicle orientation.
The development car has been named “Jack” by the research team and is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 70mph on the highway and can even initiate lane changes and passing maneuvers. The technology is designed and optimised primarily for motorway journeys.