Audi adds a human touch to its self-driving tech image

The Ingolstadt-based premium maker is experimenting a new feature of its autonomous tech that adapts to traffic situations.

Audi continues to develop and improve its self-driving technology by bringing more and more features to it. Recently, it tested a new improved version of its autonomous A7 Sportback on Germany’s autobahn, a car that is now capable to act and react just like a human driver. Audi said that Jack was now driving more naturally when dealing with everyday traffic, by given trucks a wider gap when passing for example, or by signaling the lane changes while moving closer to the lane marking, just like human drivers would do. Jack is now more cooperative and polite, especially towards other vehicles that want to merge into its lane on the motorway. The test car decides, based on the selected driving profile, whether to accelerate or brake, depending on which is best suited to handling the traffic situation, as “harmoniously” as possible.

Audi has already derived systems for assisted driving from its tested technologies, including the traffic jam assist function now available in the Audi A4 and Audi Q7. But now it seems to be taking some bolder steps into the development process, as bringing new self-driving features and implementing them faster are mandatory moves to emerge ahead of its rivals. The man in charge of technical progress at Audi, Stefan Knirsch, recently said that the brand can learn the fast tempo implemented by Silicon Valley companies, such as Tesla, and take more risks in the future.