Audi A7 Piloted Driving Concept To Run 885-Kilometer Journey In US Real Traffic
|   Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Audi has announced a grand tour in the US with its prototype autonomous vehicle based on the A7. The model will make a trip of 885 kilometers (550 miles) on the US public roads for demonstration purposes. The end point will be the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) at Las Vegas, the most important event in the IT world at the beginning of the year.

Audi will bring its autonomous A7 Piloted Driving Concept (nicknamed "Jack") at CES 2015 on the road in a demonstration tour from Silicon Valley, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.
The journey of 885 kilometers will be carried out with American journalists on board, which will have only the role of observers. The vehicle will be guided throughout the entire route all by itself. This is because the autonomous car of the Ingolstadt manufacturer can change lanes to overtake other cars and brake or accelerate independently, not before ensuring that there is no danger of colliding with the other vehicles on the road.

Audi representatives say that most technological elements present on this vehicle are ready for production or very close to this stage. Among the things that are still needed for this technology we have the legal framework for allowing movement of vehicles without drivers.

The countries that have allowed these tests have several legal dilemmas regarding the responsible person in an accident when it comes to running in autonomous mode. US law allows those from Audi to perform such tests, due to the existence of other companies in the country who performed legal steps in this direction, including Google. The folks at Google have performed in the past hundreds of thousands of kilometers of testing in vehicles driven autonomously, without any notable incident.

Audi is not at the first demonstration of their systems' capabilities for autonomous driving, the Germans having introduced in 2014 an RS7 able to manage itself on the track. As in the case of the RS7 Piloted Driving Concept, the A7 Piloted Driving Concept has a set of stereo cameras, radar and laser system, which considers and evaluates distances to avoid accidents and dangers to run correctly on any asphalt road, even if markings are missing or damaged.
"The test drive from the west coast of California to Las Vegas demonstrates our leadership role in piloted driving ", stated Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member and Head of Technical Development.

To ensure proper safety, before the piloted driving system reaches its limitations, like in city environments, the driver is required to take control of the car.
Multiple warning signals work together: colored LEDs at the base of the windshield, signals in the driver information display, a Central Status Indicator (CSI), as well as an acoustic warning indicator that requires the driver to take control. If the driver ignores the signals, the system activates the hazard lights and finally brings the car to a full stop to minimize risks; most of the times the car stops on the right emergency lane.


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