"In Sonoma we brought the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept lap after lap to the physical limit, and in constant precision," said Thomas Müller, Head of Development for Braking, Steering and Driver Assistance Systems, AUDI AG. "The car reached lap times that were better than those of some experienced sport riders." The RS 7 prototype required only 2:01.01 minutes to set its best lap time at the 2.5-mile course.
Because of the advanced nature of this technology, Audi gave a front-seat view of the handling capability of Robby to lawmakers and regulators from several states.
"We're already experiencing some of the future's promises because the underlying technology being pioneered by companies like Audi offers an opportunity to reduce road fatalities and pollution," said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. "Innovation runs deep in California's DNA and it is critical that lawmakers here help foster a climate where private enterprise can improve, advance and mainstream a societal benefit, as the Internet and smart phone has done before them."
"We were able to be a part of Audi's testing at the extreme limits of piloted drive technology,” said Florida State Sen. Jeff Brandes. “However this is really more about enhancing safe mobility for the driving public, particularly seniors.”
For some time, Audi has been testing piloted driving technology under increasingly rigorous conditions. However the aim isn’t to replicate dramatic showcases. Instead, Audi believes the technology must perform consistently when extreme handling becomes necessary in everyday drives of the future.
In this way, the driving dynamics capabilities proven by “Robby” and “Bobby” will combine with Audi piloted driving systems under development to provide true 360-degree sensor vision around the car as it is driving. This provides an always-on view of the road environment.
Audi demonstrated this real-world highway capability earlier this year with “Jack," an Audi A7 piloted driving concept that utilized many production-based camera and sensor solutions from Silicon Valley. The 560-plus mile hands-free test drive that Jack took from Palo Alto, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, ahead of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) involved journalists behind the wheel and prove the technology could handle full highway speeds and safe lane changes on the Interstate at speeds around 70 mph.
Shortly after that this car was also on German motorways independently with up to 80 mph. Also at CES Asia in May 2015 journalists experienced piloted driving amid the heavy traffic conditions of the megacity Shanghai.
The development work on the most diverse testing fields brings valuable insights for series systems - from the sensor technology of the data processing to vehicle control and stabilization. Audi has long emphasized that piloted driving systems will reach consumers in a step-by-step manner. The first of these highly automated systems will come with the next-generation A8 Traffic Jam Pilot System, which will handle driving tasks in congested highway traffic up to 37 mph.
The technologies for piloted driving stand for safety, time savings, efficiency and convenience. In particular, if the driver faces conditions presenting too many or too few challenges, piloted systems can make a valuable contribution to security. They allow the driver to make his time in the car freely adaptable. The predictive technology enables even more efficient driving, reduces stress and increases comfort when it takes over the driving task.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. The Audi Group is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. In 2016, AUDI AG delivered about 1.871 million Audi automobiles and broke all-time company sales records for the seventh straight year in the U.S. Visit www.audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.
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