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Audi Promises Autonomous ‘Piloted Driving’ System This Decade

 
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Audi Traffic Jam Assistant in action

Audi Traffic Jam Assistant in action

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Recent reports have suggested that Audi’s new autonomous driving system, dubbed “Piloted Driving” by the German luxury automaker, will debut on its A8 flagship sedan around the year 2016.

Audi recently showcased its Piloted Driving autonomous system at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, where it demonstrated the system in two possible scenarios: in a parking lot and in heavy traffic.

Speaking at a conference in Germany this week, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler promised that the technology would be available on his company’s cars within the decade.

“We are assuming that a series-built vehicle with a piloted driving function will be technically feasible this decade,” Stadler said during a presentation at the Handelsblatt Annual Conference in Munich.

He explained that while the technology is ready, it was now up to lawmakers to formulate legislation governing responsibility and liability for autonomous driving. He also stressed that any autonomous system Audi launches will be selectable by the driver.

Like most autonomous systems being developed by automakers and their suppliers, Audi’s Piloted Driving system relies on a network of sensors and cameras located around the car. These relay information to a computer, which then adjusts the steering and brakes to suit the situation.

While it may be several years until we see Audi’s Piloted Driving system available, rival brand Mercedes-Benz will offer an autonomous mode on its 2014 S Class due out this year. The Mercedes system, dubbed “Steer Assist,” is able to autonomously drive in traffic and on highways at speeds of up to 124 mph.

Automotive supplier Bosch has also announced that at least one of its customers will be using its autonomous driving technology in 2014. Bosch’s system is designed for heavy traffic and works at speeds of up to 30 mph.

For our full coverage on autonomous car technology, click here.

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