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Audi working on making self-driving cars look like normal cars

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Audi self-driving TT
Audi self-driving TT

At CES 2013 today, Audi talked about its ambitions in autonomous driving. No dates or models were given for a production car that can pilot itself — that's still years away, even by ambitious estimates — but company executive Ricky Hudi mentioned that they're currently in the prototyping stages of a single circuitboard that contains all of the electronics that currently occupy the trunks of self-driving cars on the roads today (in fact, a Lexus spokesperson just mentioned to us yesterday that its AASRV vehicle has a trunk full of gear to support real-time processing). Just as important, it's working on smaller laser scanners that should dispense of the giant rack of equipment and sensors mounted on self-driving cars' roofs. Hudi showed samples of both the circuitboard and the scanner, so these are real components that are presently in testing.

Like Lexus yesterday, the company placed particular emphasis on the fact that drivers can't completely disengage in an autonomous car; "ultimate responsibility rests with the pilot," Hudi said. The company will be demonstrating a test vehicle later today in Las Vegas — where it just won approval to test the technology — in a hotel parking lot near CES grounds.