Tags: audi a7 | self-driving | car | ride

Audi A7 Self-Driving Car Takes Journalists for a Joy Ride

Image: Audi A7 Self-Driving Car Takes Journalists for a Joy Ride
Piloted drive from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas. (audi pr)

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:58 PM

Audi is testing its new self-driving A7 by letting journalists travel in the car on a 550-mile journey from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas, ending at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2015.

"The test drive from the west coast of California to Las Vegas demonstrates our leadership role in piloted driving,” said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, head of technical development, in an Audi press release.

The car and passengers left on their two-day journey on Sunday, with the intent of being at the CES when it starts Tuesday.

“The A7 piloted driving concept … relieves the driver of driving duties from 0 to 70 mph, or just over 110 km/h,” the Audi release said. “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.”

When approaching city driving environments, the car will notify the driver that he or she needs to take over, the release said, to “ensure proper safety.” If the driver doesn’t respond, the car “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 right emergency lane.”

Last year, at the CES, the system failed during a drive along a Las Vegas freeway, requiring the driver to take over. Clearly, the company feels the technology kinks have been worked out in the past year, leaving it ready for the road trip.

Road lines can be a challenge for the self-driving A7, which uses those for its piloted driving. If they’re faded or absent because of road construction, the system has to use GPS.

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Audi is testing its new self-driving A7 by letting journalists travel in the car on a 550-mile journey from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas, ending at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2015.
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2015-58-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:58 PM
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