Audi has been working on its own brand of self-driving car for over two years, and claims the A7 self-driving car is road-ready, as it heads from San Francisco to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a two-day 550 mile drive.
Codenamed ‘Jack’, the Audi self-driving car uses “Piloted Driving” to map out the road ahead, using GPS and cameras on the front and sides of the car to understand the road and make decisions for the driver.
The onboard computer focuses on the road ahead, and has different algorithms for making decisions on the road, including when to turn into another lane and how to avoid traffic.
Audi has been using cruise control technology on other cars, but the new self-driving technology will allow the car to auto accelerate, brake and steer.
There are some issues with the self-driving technology that still need to be ironed out, including the urban environment limitation, currently stopping the Audi A7 from driving inside city centers.
Audi has not mapped most of the world like Google, and lacks the information database on its self-driving platform to make smart decisions in urban environments. Audi will put the driver back in control of the vehicle when the car arrives in an urban centre; if the driver does not respond, it will pull over on the side of the road.
CES is bound to show off many of the new self-driving and smart home technologies and Audi needs to make sure its own self-driving platform stays relevant, against major competitors Tesla and Google.