Audi has been occupied perfecting its new direction on the autonomous vehicle route. The autonomous Audi Q5 just completed a coast-to-coast solo trip from San Francisco to New York, a quest totaling 3,400 miles. The vehicle managed the entire trip driverless, save a 50-mile span through a construction zone. There was a likely nervous human being riding shotgun.
The clip above offers some shots of the journey:
The autonomous Audi from auto supplier Delphi Corp. embarked on the journey for strategic testing purposes equipped with cameras, powerful laser sensors, radar and other fun gadgetry. The trip was a landmark success, leaving Audi with the knowledge of what aspects of the driverless car are working and where there could be improvements. The sheer mileage that the Q5 was able to navigate solo actually took the company by surprise, as they had anticipated a bit less. According to Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer: “We expected we would be in autonomous mode most of the time, but to be in it close to 99% of the time was a pleasant surprise. The equipment was flawless.” While 99% is not the universal definition of flawless, it is most impressive.
The Audi Q5 was a model citizen, never breaking the speed limits and collecting approximately 3 terabytes of data across the country. In fact, the only concern in terms of abiding by the law was the vehicle’s reluctance to change lanes when a police officer was pulled off on the side of the road. While there were minor issues with the sensors and cameras, the success certainly outweighed any minor bumps on the road. The technology unleashed in the autonomous Audi is able to recognize specific lane markings, though its sensors get a bit nervous when dealing with large vehicles like 18-wheelers and lorrys.
The big picture is that Audi has made a significant impact in the driverless vehicle arena, which has also paved the way toward a developing new central computer aimed at drastically reducing accidents. The new technology will be incorporated into newer vehicles in just a few years, according to reports. Hopefully the system has a voice and a sense of humor to rival that of the infamous ‘Siri’!
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