Audi is planning to introduce a technology that allows autonomous driving in urban traffic. According to chief financial officer Axel Strotbek, Audi’s self-driving system – which will be available soon -- takes over steering, braking and accelerating in stop-and-go traffic. The technology – which could also operate at speeds up to 37 miles per hour – was tested on a highway in Florida in August.
Audi’s commitment to roll out a self-driving system comes just days after General Motors disclosed plans to launch a Cadillac model in two years that could cruise on the highway without the driver controlling the steering wheel or placing a foot on the gas pedal.
But they are not alone as other carmakers have been developing self-driving systems in order to create a safer and easy-to-use car. Audi is currently aiming to become the best-selling luxury carmaker in the world by the end of the decade.
To that effect, it is rolling out this year around 17 new or revamped models, and will soon produce an electric version of the R8 sports car. The German luxury carmaker forecasts slightly higher revenue for 2014, as helped by higher deliveries.
Strotbek has reaffirmed that Audi expects its global deliveries to top 1.7 million cars this year, from 1.58 million units in 2013. Audi is planning to make a EUR22-billion ($28 billion) investment in the next five years -- 70 percent of which have been allotted for new products and technology. [source: automotive news - sub. required]