Audi continues to research the driverless car
German luxury car manufacturer Audi appears to be determined to be number one when it comes to developing automated vehicles by using the company's groundbreaking research. With the success in getting a permit to test driverless cars in California, there are already early clues that it will be Audi and not Google that delivers the first mass-marketed driverless car. The company is not keen on labelling the new car 'driverless', however, and is looking at this type of development in the same way as planes flown on autopilot. It looks likely that the concept that Audi will deliver to the general public will be more of an intelligent cruise-control system that can drive the vehicle on stretches of motorway.
The tools to allow the car to perform this operation would enable it to slow down, let other vehicles in, accelerate, and change lanes on open stretches of road. This would all take place without the driver having to perform the function manually and would mean that motorists could have a break during their journey and should improve road safety, as it would eliminate driver errors caused by distraction or tiredness. In addition to motorway driving, the new technology would be able to help with parking and manoeuvring in tight spots.
The UK has recently announced that driverless cars will be allowed on its roads from January 2016.
With all the advances that Audi has already made, the autonomous vehicle could be on the roads sooner that we think.