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.
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