Audi RS7

The Audi A8 Autonomous motoring pioneer aims to be the first Self Driving Vehicle available for public consumers. For some the thought of a self driving car is great! For those of us with an inner control freak, this idea is terrifying! Either way, here’s what you need to know about the newest kind of road trip!

First things first, how safe is it?

In theory autonomous cars will reduce crashes, traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. Being autonomous, there is no chance of distracted driving. One of the major causes of accidents.

Stefan Moser, Audi Head of Product and Technology Communications, said the upcoming A8 will be a fully autonomous, self-driving vehicle that doesn’t get distracted, unlike human drivers.

“If we have a proper system it will always be better than human beings,” he said. “They are not phoning, not looking at pretty girls, no distractions.”

What if the system were to fail?

Moser says Audi’s setup has redundancy systems, a second control unit, in case the primary system dies, and noted that the error rate with the technology so far was “zero”. Currently no computer systems in existence have a true zero error rate.
Does it drive like my grandma?

It was demonstrated recently that Audi’s autonomous car technology already works well, very well actually, after reaching a world record for speed, an empty Audi RS7 vehicle rocked the Hockenheim race track at the Grand Prix, where the car clocked upwards of 140MPH.
Of course, this was on a closed track under near perfect conditions, so when asked about how the car will manage on busy roads with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and the day to day hazards of driving, Moser responded, “The camera system is not able to always do everything. We have also lasers, we will have more sensors too. With a laser you can see in fog, for instance,” he said.

“It must work everywhere,” he stated.

When can I have one!?

The only potential delay with getting the vehicle to the consumer is legislation keeping up with technology.

And the price? Good news, “not too much higher in price for the autonomous [A8 cars]”, as Moser explained.
“We build cars for around the world,” said the Audi technology chief, noting that in future the software and probably the hardware would be standardised, reducing the cost, and car-to-car communication would further improve the effectiveness of self-driving cars.

You’ll be able to check out the Audi A8’s appearance at the 2014 Los Angeles motor show next month, with the final production version ready for show in 2016, and a slated global release in 2017.

For those of you who still love the thrill of putting pedal to the metal, call us or come in any time to check out our current range of driver-required Audis!