The future is upon on us, and driving will never be the same. Audi has successfully completed low speed tests of their Congestion Pilot System, a type of self-driving system that kicks in during high traffic and slowly moves the car along without driver interaction.
Driving in heavy traffic is no fun, no one likes it, so Audi is now taking the constant stop-and-go pedal pushing out of the equation through self-driving technology. The tech is called the Congestion Pilot System, and is made to kick in during times of traffic congestion at speeds below 37.5 miles per hour. While in traffic, the Congestion Pilot System will slowly accelerate and decelerate the car through the flow of traffic as well as utilizing a number of sensors (22 to be exact) through the on-board Central Driver Assistance Control Unit to anticipate maneuvers and direct the car forward.
When the traffic loosens up and speed goes above 37.5 mile per hour, the Congestion Pilot System returns control of the car back to the driver. If for some reason the driver does not regain control, it will actually slowly come to a stop.
Audi has been making some big advances in quasi self-driving technology. This on road test of the Congestion Pilot System took place in Tampa, Florida using a specially-modified A7, making Audi the first auto maker in the world to do a full on public road test of traffic jam assistance technology.
While self-driving cars such as the Google Car are years away from being consumer ready, autonomous car technology is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Once upon a time, rear-view cameras were only for the most luxurious of cars; now they are standard issue in most, and will be mandatory and enforced in new model cars by 2018. Audi is already looking forward to a future where driving is something you do only if you want to, rather than being a necessary evil.
The times and driving as we know it are a changin’.