Do you remember the sci-fi action flick starring Will Smith? It involved some robot wrongdoings and most importantly for us, a specifically designed Audi RSQ concept car, capable of fully autonomous driving.
Leaving aside the futuristic design and only a decade later, Audi is capable of offering fully autonomous driving in a very traditional package – such as an Audi A7/RS7. It’s not ready for commercial applications, but you wonder how much that will take since in January a self-driving A7 Sportback took itself on a 900 km trip from Palo Alto, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada. Or the fact that another Audi – this time a sportier RS7 – used high-definition digital maps to autonomously lap the 17-curve Hockenheim race circuit last October at speeds of up to 240 km/h.
According to Ulrich Hackenberg, the company’s technology chief, the German automaker has plans to offer commercial versions of advanced self-driving features in its cars by the end of 2016. He does come in line with other auto executives when it comes to fully autonomous cars, saying they should be ready for series production starting with 2025. He contends that “piloted driving,” which is the term used in the industry for cars that can drive themselves in most situations but need driver oversight and intervention in crucial situations, has become available today. For now, the biggest obstacle in front of autonomous driving seen by the Audi executive remains legislation – there are no laws yet to allow fully autonomous driving.
Via Automotive News Europe