Audi is letting a specially made A7 drive itself from San Francisco the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
The company is sending the car on the journey to demonstrate its self-driving technology. The car, called Jack, is the first major debut of the “Piloted Driving” technology, which Audi says is now production ready.
It is just one of a number of connected car technologies that are being demonstrated at the show.
The 550-mile journey will demonstrate the car’s ability to drive on motorways, including changing lanes and doing overtaking manoeuvres.
It is able to control steering, acceleration and braking to keep safe while driving.
To do so, it makes use of long range radar sensors that keep watch of the front and back of the vehicle, and mid-range sensors at the left and right, so that the car has a 360 degree view of its surroundings. It also has a built-in 3D video camera, as well as smaller ones, that keep a watch on the environment, and the car uses navigation data for checking how the car is oriented.
The car is able to drive on its own between 0 and 70 miles per hour. The driver is also asked to take over in urban environments to ensure its safety.
That is done using signals built into the car, including LEDs in the windshield and sound, that prompt drivers to take over. If they don’t, the car will put the hazard lights on and stop the car.
Journalists will be sitting in the driving seat and helping the car out as it travels the journey.
The car is set to arrive in Las Vegas tomorrow, ahead of Audi’s presentation at CES at 7PM GMT.
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