Audi took Florida’s governor for a ride in a self-driving car
Audi closed down a highway in Tampa, Florida on Sunday and Monday in order to test out a new driverless car and prove that this technology will soon be ready for real world use. As a “thank you” for signing Florida’s autonomous vehicle testing legislation into law, Audi gave the state’s governor, Rick Scott, a ride in the driverless car. Unfortunately, it broke down. Twice.
In order to demonstrate its driverless technology, the company equipped an Audi A7 with a bunch of sensors and cameras that would enable the vehicle to drive itself on freeway conditions up to 40 miles per hour. The technology enables the car to start and stop by itself as well as avoid other vehicles in front, and on both sides of it.
According to the Tampa Bay Tribune, one of the car’s sensors wasn’t communicating with the central computer properly, and the vehicle had to be stopped and repaired twice. However, despite this glitch, Audi is still confidant that it will be able to make this technology available to consumers within the next five years.
The Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa was recently designated as an automated driving and connected car test bed, one of only ten such highways in the United States. Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB 1207 back in 2012 which allowed the testing of autonomous vehicles in the state. By completing this test, Audi has become the first carmaker to test an automated car on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.
“The ability to conduct research in the real-world conditions offered by Florida and the Expressway Authority is crucial to pre-production development,” Audi said in a statement. “Because Florida created an environment that allows for the testing and development of autonomous technology, companies such as Audi have decided to bring research and development efforts to the Sunshine State.”
Read more about the story at Jalopnik.