A timeline of autonomy
Milestones on the road to autonomous driving.
16 January, 2018
2010: A driverless Audi TTS completes the famous, 156-turn, 20km Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 27 minutes – just 10 minutes or so slower than a professional driver could have managed in the same car.
2012: The same Pikes Peak TTS closes on the lap times of professional drivers around California’s Thunderhill Raceway.
2014: ‘Bobby’, a fully autonomous Audi RS 7, laps the Hockenheimring at speeds of up to 240km/h. “We wanted to come close to matching the speed, precision, and vehicle control of a professional racer,” said project manager Peter Bergmiller. “We took the sportiest piloted driving car in the world to the race track and did just that.”
2015: ‘Jack’ – an Audi A7 piloted driving concept car – drives itself 900km from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas, with journalists along for the ride. Shortly afterwards, Jack reaches autonomous speeds of up to 130km/h on German autobahns, then negotiates heavy traffic in Shanghai.
2015: ‘Robby’—the 412kW version 2.0 of Audi RS 7, Bobby—matches the lap times of sports car drivers at California’s Sonoma Raceway, sans driver.
2017: ‘Jack’ begins a residency at Munich Airport, from where it sets off, taking guests on a 45km, 60-minute test loop – with nobody’s hands on the wheel.
2017: Having already tested in Nevada, California and Florida, Audi becomes the first carmaker to trial an autonomous car – an Audi A7 – in New York.
Now: With the Audi AI traffic jam pilot, the brand with the four rings presents the world’s first system that enables SAE level 3 conditional automation – the new Audi A8. The car can take over the task of driving in a traffic jam or slow moving highway traffic up to 60 km/h. With traffic jam pilot engaged, drivers no longer need to continuously monitor the vehicle and the road. They must merely remain alert and capable of taking over the task of driving when the system prompts them to do so.
Next: Audi Elaine is an electric-powered SUV coupe that in the foreseeable future will make highly automated driving possible – at times even without a driver on board. The driver parks the Audi in a designated area – the 'handover zone' – and exits the vehicle. From there, the car drives automatically and unoccupied into a multi-story parking garage offering a variety of services, such as a car wash, a package station, a petrol station or a charging post. Thanks to Audi AI, the car does all of this itself.
The future has arrived.
"Audi Elaine is an electric-powered SUV coupe that in the foreseeable future will make highly automated driving possible – at times even without a driver on board."
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