Audi Sends Self-Driving Car on 550-Mile Journey to #CES2015
Audi is putting the pedal to the metal on their new self-driving car initiative, sending it alongside other drivers from San Francisco to Las Vegas just in time for CES 2015. That’s right; the German car company is sending their driverless vehicle on a nearly 550-mile journey to show off their technology. The A7 Sportback, nicknamed “Jack,” the car is equipped with laser scanners, a 3D video camera and side/rear facing radar sensors. Audi also utilized its famous cruise control technology that’s adaptive to the environment.
The car will travel under 70 MPH, and it will only be allowing trained people to steer when it’s in city environments or other situations (such as adverse weather conditions) where it may find trouble.
Audi’s Self-Driving Car Paves Way for Others
While it’s clearly a marketing stunt, it’s interesting to see if it will be successful on the highway. According to Matthew Inman, the famous cartoonist for The Oatmeal, driverless cars are far more cautious than humans, so the highway is a good place for Audi to start.
“The car we rode in did not strike me as dangerous. It struck me as cautious. It drove slowly and deliberately, and I got the impression that it’s more likely to annoy other drivers than to harm them. Google can adjust the level of aggression in the software, and the self-driving prototypes currently tooling around Mountain View are throttled to act like nervous student drivers.”
He also said that Google’s driverless cars looked cute, and referred to them as Marshmallow Overlords. They’re designed to look cute because Google claims psychological studies have shown that when people are faced with something that looks like it resembles a living thing, they’ll be more cautious around it.
Audi’s car does not look cute though; it looks like a normal car. If you’re attending CES, be on the lookout to see if any dings or scratches are on the A7 when you arrive.
Images from Audi and Shutterstock.