Audi ready to tackle urban autonomous driving image

Audi AG, the world’s second-larger producer of luxury cars, will unveil technology that enables autonomous driving in city traffic, joining companies that are promoting features to reduce the struggle of operating a car.

Chief Financial Officer, Axel Strotbek, said that Audi’s self-driving system will take over steering, braking and accelerating in stop-and-go-traffic, while operating at speeds of up to 60 km per hour. Without giving more details, the CFO said that the system will be available “very soon”.

Audi’s public announcement comes two days after General Motors Co. said it will introduce a Cadillac model in two years that would be able to travel on the highway without the driver holding the steering wheel or putting the foot on the gas pedal. Daimler AG has also been working on autonomous driving systems as well as on making the cars safer and easier to use.

Audi is introducing 17 new or redesigned models in 2014 and will continue with its production of an electric version of the R8 sports car in an attempt to overtake Bayerische Motoren Werke AG as the biggest luxury-carmaker. Audi will invest €22 billion in the following five years, with 70% of it going to new products and technology.

By Gabriela Florea