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Automated driving

885 km from Stanford to Las Vegas

Nicknamed “Jack“, the Audi A7 demonstrates that series production technology is able to drive a car autonomously. Started on January 4, the car will arrive in Las Vegas after three days to attend the CES 2015 trade show.

The Audi A7 piloted driving concept (Photo: Audi)

„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) und Volkswagen Group Research and Development, begins today in Stanford, CA.

The A7 piloted driving concept utilizes the latest technologically advanced systems developed by Audi. The concept relieves
the driver of driving duties from 0 to to over 110 km/h. The car 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 vehicles near by. If the speed and distance calculation is deemed safe, the vehicle initiates the lane change with precision and in a timely manner.

The piloted concept vehicle utilizes a combination of various sensors, many of which are close to being production ready. 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° view. Laser scanners are mounted within the single-frame grille and the rear bumper skirt. The scanners deliver redundant information to provide detailed recognition of static and dynamic objects during piloted driving. The technologies are production ready including their vehicle integration and cost structure for vehicle production in the near future. A new high-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. Of course, the automated driving also uses information from the CAN-based in-vehicle networks. The processed sensor data determines commands and requests send into the CAN networks.

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: 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.

Publish date
2015-01-05
Company

Audi

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