Audi Lets Customers Test Self-driving Car on Autobahn
With an eye to the future, Audi customers is allowing customers to test a self-driving vehicle on the A9 autobahn north of Munich. Test drives of the Audi A7 piloted driving concept, nicknamed “Jack,” will begin in the MyAudi Sphere in the Munich airport. Assuming normal traffic, the journey will take about 60 minutes, with a driving expert on board to answer any questions or concerns test drivers might have.
Drivers are selected via Audi Germany’s social media channels, with the final pool of test drivers selected via lottery for the riders, which began July 20th and run through August. Participants in the “Miles and More” program can also swap miles for a ride in “Jack.”
The A7 piloted driving concept has already been tested on three continents. The self-driving car is responsive to other motorists, and can change lanes, brake, and accelerate safely and predictively. It achieves speeds of 80.8 mph, or 130 km/h.
Driver experiences from previous test drives have been incorporated into the Audi A7 piloted driving model. To generate a detailed model of the vehicle’s surroundings, the A7 uses a central driver assistance controller (zFAS), a laptop-sized device which will soon be standard in the new Audi A8. This luxury vehicle, which debuted at the Audi Summit in Barcelona in July, will have a standard self-driving component as per SAE Level 3. The Audi A3 traffic jam pilot will allow the zFAS to take over in slow moving highway conditions up to 60 mph. The A8 will reach the US in 2018, and will also feature a sporty shape, radar, a new version of the MMI infotainment system, and rear seats which can give your passengers a foot massage. The A8 is built around a spaceframe architecture, like all previous A8s. The list price has yet to be determined.