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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Cars & Autos | Saturday 10 January, 2015 12:07 am |
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Audi A7 piloted driving concept arrives in Las Vegas following a 900 kilometer drive

The long-distance test drive with the Audi A7 piloted driving concept concluded this week following its 900-kilometer journey. A selected group of journalists were able to experience piloted driving from behind the wheel during the drive that began in Silicon Valley, California and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada in time to attend the International CES 2015 (Consumer Electronics Show). The concept vehicle impressed particularly through its ability to provide a comfortable drive in real world, everyday driving situations.

The test drive resulted in actionable data to help further development of Audi piloted driving. Even so it offered the longest drive at full highway speeds with members of the public behind the wheel. The journalists were able to experience piloted driving in 160 kilometer stints in various traffic situations on public highways. In total, the drive was 900 kilometers long. As required by State laws in California, an experienced Audi test driver accompanied the drive from the passenger seat.

The concept vehicle utilizes various production-ready sensors as well as sensors integrated into production vehicles today that accurately detect the vehicles surroundings. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) and Audi side assist (ASA) long-range radar sensors as well as mid-range radar sensors at the front and the rear of the vehicle that are directed to the left and right of the vehicle provide the vehicle with a 360 degree view of its environment. Laser scanners are integrated into the front Single frame grille as well the rear bumper to provide additional detailed recognition of static or dynamic objects. The new sensor data system enables a continuous plausibility check during piloted driving to ensure the correct decisions are being made by the vehicle and the driver. Four smaller cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle provide short-range information of the surrounding environment. The hi-resolution, wide-angle 3D video camera, which will first see production in the new Audi Q7, observes the surrounding traffic. The sensor technology is close to production and meets financial targets for inclusion into future products.

The concept relieves the driver of driving duties from 0 to just over 110 km/h. The car can initiate lane changes and passing maneuvers as well as accelerate and brake 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.

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 an acoustic warning indicator requires the driver to retake control.

Audi presented its “Next Chapter” at CES this week in Las Vegas. The technologies of today and the projects of tomorrow were presented at one of the most relevant, trendsetting electronic trade shows in the world.
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