Future is just around corner
A CAR that could drive you to work and then park itself after it drops you at the front door may be just around the corner.
Audi says the technology is ready to take the daily grind out of stop-start traffic. The only barrier is government regulations. But don’t expect to be able to read a newspaper, do your make-up or update your social media status while on the move. The company plans to install technology to make sure the driver is still alert.
‘‘To hand over control (of the car) in stop and go traffic, we are there,’’ the head of Audi’s technical development Wolfgang Durheimer, told News Limited at the Geneva motor show. ‘‘The future has arrived. We know how to do it. But you cannot sit in the back seat. It will monitor whether the driver is still there and as soon as you disappear from your driver’s position, we will stop the car and it will activate the emergency brake,’’ he said.
The car can also intervene if the driver is not paying full attention.
‘‘We have the intelligence in the car. We have the cameras, the radar detection, the sensors, the speed limiters. The next step is to monitor the driver and look at eye contact. If they are not concentrating we can blow a horn or shake the seat.’’
Audi says the ‘‘piloted driving’’ systems will likely arrive on its next generation flagship limousine, the A8 (pictured), the current version of which costs about $200,000 in Australia.
It is likely that government regulations will only allow autonomous driving systems to work at low speeds, less than 20km/h. Audi is already running trials of autonomous cars. To date it has reported no crashes.