The Consumer Electronic Show has become an increasingly car-centric event over the last few years. In attempt to standout from the rest of the car companies in attendance, Audi packed an autonomously driven A7 3.0 TFSI full of journalists and sent it on its way from San Francisco to make the 560-mile trek to Las Vegas in time for CES 2015.
The 2015 A7 Sportback Piloted Driving Concept, known to Audi engineers as “Jack,” uses software and hardware similar to the 2015 RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept that recently lapped the Hockenheim in just over two minutes at the 2014 DTM season finale. Audi says most of the sensors and systems fitted to “Jack” are either production ready or are already available on Audis you can buy today — adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, and long and short-range sensors. Things like laser scanners and small front and rear cameras are also at work. There’s a sizable bank of hardware in the trunk, but given the nature of computers, all that stuff will be the size of your wallet by next week.
The technology isn’t quite ready to fully take the lives of folks who are not Audi employees into its hands yet, not even car journalists. The autonomous wizardry only kicks in on the highway at speeds under 70 mph, and “Jack” will politely ask you to take the wheel in city driving situations. Still, it’s smart enough to initiate lane changes and passing maneuvers. I just wonder if “Jack” gets as infuriated with California’s left-lane loafers as I do.
Click past the jump for two more video.