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Self-Driving Audi A7 Concept to Drive 550 Miles to 2015 CES

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/5/2015 Karla Sanchez

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas this week, and instead of just displaying something on the stand, Audi has decided to give journalists the ultimate hands-on experience. The German automaker invited journalists to Silicon Valley, where they were presented with the autonomous A7 Sportback concept before being driven in one all the way to Las Vegas.

Nicknamed "Jack," the autonomous A7 concept will allow journalists to sit back and relax during the 550-mile journey from Stanford, Calif., to Sin City. Jack is the latest autonomous Audi to receive a human nickname, following Bobby the race track-navigating RS 7 and Shelley the self-driving TTS. The automaker boasts that the A7 can brake and accelerate on its own, while also being able to change lanes and pass cars without the help of the driver. Jack is able to drive itself thanks to a number of sensors, many of which Audi claims are almost production-ready. These include long range radar sensors, which watch the front end of the vehicle while also helping control the adaptive cruise control and Audi side assist systems. Other sensors include two mid-range radar sensors at the front and rear, both of which aim to the right and left to offer a 360 degree view. Audi A7 Sportback Piloted Driving Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Audi A7 Sportback Piloted Driving Concept

The A7 also benefits from laser scanners hidden within the grille and the rear bumper. These scanners recognize static and dynamic objects as the A7 drives itself, while a new hi-resolution 3D video camera displays a wide-angle view out in front of the vehicle. This 3D camera is nothing entirely new, as it's already integrated into the new Q7. Jack also relies on four small front and rear mounted cameras that view closer surroundings, while it uses navigation data for basic vehicle orientation.

Before taking part in the road trip, journalists had to agree to certain conditions. They first had to complete a training program in the A7 with an Audi professional. They've also been made aware that they have to take full control of the vehicle in city environments while listening to the multiple warning systems integrated into the car. Colored LEDs at the base of the windshield, signals in the instrument panel, and an acoustic warning indicator will let the driver know when to take full control, and if the signals are ignored, the system will activate hazard lights and safely bring the car to a full stop on the side of the road.

Our very own technical editor Kim Reynolds will be behind the wheel of an autonomous A7, and you can join him on his adventure by following him at @MT_Reynolds.

Source: Audi

Audi A7 Sportback Piloted Driving Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Audi A7 Sportback Piloted Driving Concept

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