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Audi Introduces R8 e-tron Piloted Driving Concept, Heralds Upcoming Automation Technology

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On: Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:35AM | By: Carl Malek


Audi Introduces R8 e-tron Piloted Driving Concept, Heralds Upcoming Automation Technology

Audi has provided the world a compelling glimpse of its automated self driving technology at the 2015 CES Asia Convention in Shanghai, China, with the unveiling of the Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving concept which serves not only as a technological showcase, it also previews Audi's plans to eventually offer automated driving technology in much of its vehicle lineup over the next several years.

As its name suggests, this concept is essentially a modified version of the 2017 R8 e-tron which was first unveiled to the public in March during the Geneva Motor Show. Unlike that model, this particular version comes equipped with the company's upcoming automated driving system. The system itself is actually a very compelling piece of engineering and incorporates a new laser scanner, several video cameras, radar sensors, as well as ultrasonic sensors that all work together to scan the road and relay the information gathered to a central driver assistance control unit. We are curious to see how this system fares in everyday driving, but it does represent progress on Audi's part, and we look forward to seeing more examples of this technology in the future.

Other than the futuristic driving system, the concept is pretty much standard R8 e-tron which means this self-driving concept wields two electrically powered motors that are capable of producing 455 horsepower and a stout 678 lb-ft of torque. This potent set of electrons allows the car to make the sprint to 62 mph in a swift 3.9 seconds before topping out at the obligatory 155 mph barrier. For comparison this is only 0.6 seconds slower than R8 V10 Plus, and with all the torque being available instantly, the e-tron could get the jump on a gas- powered R8 when paired in a drag race. Providing all of this juice is a T-shaped battery pack which is built in-house by Audi and allows the R8 e-tron to boast a 275-mile driving range. It can also be recharged in less than two hours, thanks to its advanced Combined Charging system.

Look for the technology to make its production debut in a year or two with Audi executives even revealing that R8 e-tron buyers could add autonomous software to their purchase as a piece of optional equipment, though we expect a lofty fee for that particular feature, considering its complex nature, as well as how new automated driving technology is to the automotive world.

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