Audi tests its A7 driverless vehicle on Florida highway

July 29, 2014 by Bob Yirka weblog
Audi tests its A7 driverless vehicle on Florida highway
Audi A7

German automaker Audi made use of a Florida law passed in 2012 that allows for testing driverless vehicles on Florida highways this past Sunday and Monday, by requesting a shutdown of Tampa's Lee Roy Selmon Expressway—engineers ran the A7 driverless car through several real-world scenarios to test the cars' abilities. The highway has been specifically designated as a test-bed site for such vehicles.

Audi has stated its intentions to market a sometime in the next five years, an ambitious goal considering most states in the U.S. haven't even begun to formulate plans on whether to allow driverless vehicles on the road. Likewise, governments in other countries appear to be mostly still watching and waiting to see what carmakers create—Audi calls its system of sensors, cameras, and computers, Traffic Jam Pilot—a spokesmen at the test offered kudos to Florida lawmakers for setting up test facilities for such vehicles, which are of course crucial for testing driverless cars in real-world situations. Audi also made news this past January by giving what has been described as a flashy keynote presentation at the annual CES show in Las Vegas, showing off what had been achieved thus far with the A7.

In the road test, a fully equipped A7 was allowed to drive down the highway at speeds up to 25 miles per hour—at one point Florida Governor Rick Scott, a proponent of driverless vehicles and signer of the bill that allows for testing such vehicles in the state, sat—hands-off—in the driver's seat. The vehicle was tested to see how well it responded to the presence of other vehicles on the highway including when they came into its vicinity—one test even involved a response to a car pulling in front of it unexpectedly.

By all accounts the car performed very well, responding as it was supposed to in the test environment, though there was one communications glitch that halted testing for a little while. Audi is of course, just one of the many car makers testing driverless vehicles, which suggests that someday soon (perhaps as early as a decade from now) drivers will have to relinquish control of their vehicles to computers, sensors and cameras. The consensus is that such cars will be much safer than those with human drivers.

Explore further: Toyota, Audi driverless demos will pull up to CES

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5 / 5 (2) Jul 29, 2014
The internet?! nobody will ever want to use that craziness i tell ya!
not rated yet Jul 29, 2014
Toyota's tests were not as successful.
1 / 5 (3) Jul 29, 2014
Not in favor of this. Too risky. I speak as a long term Audi owner. Great cars, but they would need computer performance at least 2 orders of magnitude beyond their current semi-automated driving technologies. I have had 2 high end Audi's with the automatic lane tracking system and it is marginal at best in difficult traffic situations and dangerous enough to require corrective action on my part to avoid collision. I spite of driving over a hundred miles a day, that system only gets used about 5% of the time. I wish it was more functional. The degree of situational awareness is just not there yet. Also, I state for the record that having surveyed all the high end cars technology packages, Audi's is far and away the best. Their 360 degree overhead parking system is beyond belief and the night vision system is a huge advance all year round.

not rated yet Jul 31, 2014
hudres, you managed to nearly avoid the topic in its entirety after dismissing progress as too risky. the tech in your vehicle is only related to this progress in the most rudimentary of ways. this is progress. this is wonderful. this will be a reality. enjoy polio when you break bread with jesus, and please tell him his dad is a prick.

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