Audi RS7 Piloted Driving

Autonomous driving technology has been gaining traction among German automakers. Audi in particular has pushed it up a notch. Rather than sticking to fine-tuning this technology on day-to-day roads, they’ve fast-tracked that idea by getting on with tests on the tracks instead – previously in a TTS and more recently an RS7.

In 2014, Audi’s autonomous driving tech took on the German racing circuit, Hockenheimring, where an Audi RS7 mule, codenamed ‘Bobby’, managed to hit a top speed of 240 km/h without a driver.

Now updated, christened ‘Robby’, the company’s latest RS7 piloted driving concept comes with a more powerful 560 hp engine, and has proven itself to be more impressive than before, recording lap times better than a living race car driver on the Sonoma Raceway. Perhaps owing it to the 400 kg weight it’s lost, Bobby has managed to go round the track in just 2:01.01 minutes.

It seems that the only self-driving Audi model that has done more practical roads is the Audi A7 piloted driving concept. Nicknamed ‘Jack’, it flawlessly completed a trip from Silicon Valley to Nevada, completing a total of 885 km (that’s a little over a round trip from KL to Singapore).

The next-generation Audi A8 is expected to feature such technology. According to AutoExpress, the upcoming luxury-sedan will be able to navigate on its own, utilising long-range radar sensors and a dozen ultrasonic sensors, coupled with laser scanners a video camera all working cooperatively.

The A8 is scheduled to be launched in 2017, which is less than a couple of years away. From the amount of publicity the piloted driving concept is receiving, one thing we can safely assume is, the technology is nearing production readiness.