Audi has showcased the capabilities of its Piloted Driving autonomous vehicle system at this year’s Berlinale Film Festival in Germany.
A driverless A8 L W12 autonomously picked up actor Daniel Brühl and his partner from their hotel and drove them to the red carpet.
The car uses a variety of cameras, sensors and lasers, while comparing the information with a precise, pre-prepared map of the route, and synchronises that information with the data from its own calculation of movements. This all ensures that the car is able to navigate the set route in a safe manner.
Designed by Audi styling boss Marc Lichte, the new Audi A8 is due to arrive in 2017 and will feature advanced assisted driving technology, including the ability to travel on motorways autonomously at speeds of up to 40mph.
The new A8 will make use of ‘cloud computing’ for its Piloted Driving options, so the car is continuously communicating with mainframe computers with updates to road traffic conditions. This technology will also mean that VW Group vehicles will be able to communicate with each other and use each other’s information, offering an element of artificial intelligence.
Audi technical development boss Stefan Knirsch said: “We are developing and testing our technologies for piloted driving under all conditions. We have already proven that we can have piloted cars drive safely on a race track and on the expressway. At the Berlinale, we have now mastered a complex urban traffic situation with maximum ease.”
The journey is only the latest step in Audi’s Piloted Driving programme. In 2010 an Audi TTS drove Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains without a driver, and in 2014 an RS7 Sportback drove a driverless lap at race pace on the Hockenheim grand prix circuit.