Audi’s driverless car one step closer to being reality

26 May 2015

Image via Audi

Audi has tweaked its supercar, the R8 e-tron, to be its third driverless electric vehicle (EV) that will allow the driver to work away on other things while the car barrels down the road at high speed.

The R8 e-tron is not a new concept, having been shown to the public as far back as 2012, but this marks the first time that the car now has its own autonomy to allow it to drive itself based off its surroundings.

Making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shanghai this week, the car has all the expected statistics of a supercar EV, being able to achieve a top speed of 250km/h with its all-electrically-powered engine, but can completely recharge in just two hours.

Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving

Image via Audi

According to the International Business Times, aside from the typical EV technology, the car’s ‘brain’ derives from its wide array of sensors as well as video cameras tracking other cars’ movement and laser scanners, which sends the collected data to the car’s virtual brain to generate an image of its surroundings.

Debuting the car in China is no accident as the German car maker, like many others, is attempting to make it big in one of the world’s largest economies, despite the fact that the demand for high-end luxury cars has dropped in 2015 by 5.2pc.

To further this integration in China, and no doubt to also appease the country’s government, the car will have its computer systems run by Chinese software, with plans to integrate Baidu’s CarLife systems to power the R8 e-tron’s entertainment system, while Huawei will be used to power its data transfer technology.

Audi R8 etron cockpit

Image via Audi

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic