Automatic driving with Audi nearly ready

By CARSIFU | 5 January 2015

LAS VEGAS: Audi will have a world premier on January 6 of its revolutionary operating controls and display concept in the new Audi Q7, at the International CES 2015 (Consumer Electronics Show), one of the world’s most important electronics trade shows.

The brand with the four rings is also presenting Audi Matrix laser technology – a laser light that illuminates the entire road with precision and high definition.

Also, on January 4 and 5, Audi demonstrated that the era of automated driving is nearly here, with a 900km piloted driving tour on the highway from San Francisco to Las Vegas.

The test drive in real world traffic and road conditions represented a joint effort by Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) und Volkswagen Group Research and Development.

The Audi A7 piloted driving concept relieves the driver of driving duties from 0 to just over 110km/h.

The car, that has been affectionately been named "Jack" by the development team, can initiate lane changes and passing maneuvers.

In addition, the A7 piloted driving concept accelerates and brakes independently.

Before initiating a lane change to the left or the right, 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.

The long range radar sensors of the adaptive cruise control (ACC) and the Audi side assist (ASA) keep watch of the front and rear of the vehicle.

Two mid-range radar sensors at the front and rear respectively are aimed to the right and left to complete the 360 degree view.

Laser scanners are mounted within the Singleframe grille and the rear bumper skirt.

The scanners deliver redundant information to provide detailed recognition of static and dynamic objets during piloted driving.

A new hi-resolution 3D video camera, already integrated into the systems 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.

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 signales work in unison: colored 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.

Should the driver ignore the signals, the system activates the hazard lights and brings the car to a full stop while minimizing any risk.

In most instances, the vehicle is stopped on the emergency lane.