Audi TTS "Shelley" Autonomous CarEnlarge Photo
Audi has been developing autonomous cars for some time, and soon, that hard work could begin paying dividends. Auto News reports that in the near future, Audi will bring some of its self-driving technology to real-world consumers.
Speaking yesterday at the Frankfurt School of Finance, Audi CFO Axel Strotbek announced that the automaker has nearly perfected an autonomous driving system for low-speed travel. It can handle features like steering and braking at speeds up to 37 mph.
Strotbek didn't discuss any of the system's other features, what it might cost consumers, or on which Audi vehicles it will be offered. He simply told those in attendance that it would be available "very soon".
Obviously, he's not speaking about a fully autonomous system, like those being developed by Google and Tesla. Rather, he's talking about a semi-autonomous system similar to the one announced yesterday by another luxury brand, Cadillac.
That said, it's still a great move -- both for Audi and for consumers. On the business front, it keeps Audi on-pace with the competition. And for motorists, systems like this will likely reduce congestion in major cities, cutting the number of fender-benders that often occur in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.
Stay tuned for updates about this and other semi-autonomous systems, which will likely be available to higher-end consumers within the next three years.