Volkswagen has a goal of becoming the world's largest car company by 2018. And it is well on its way if you measure it by revenue or profits. Part of the company’s strategy relies on the success of its Audi line—with cars known for luxury, advanced technology and performance that trickle down to other of VW’s divisions.
So it is little surprise that Audi is the VW group that is pushing the limits of technology by showcasing its cars of the future at CES this year, including a self-driving (and parking) car, and previewing what it describes as the “lighting technologies of tomorrow.”
The face of all of Audi’s models are dominated by futuristic looking Matrix LED headlights that increase visibility which promise to reduce accidents by reacting to environmental conditions and its surroundings. The headlines get information from sensors and the navigation system, and will automatically adjust to driving conditions. A front-mounted camera detects other vehicles and fades out the car’s high-beams avoiding blinding other drivers.
Safety technology like this is always at the forefront of automotive category leadership.
Another way Audi is trying to lead with technological advancement is in the area of self-driving cars.
Nevada has just given Audi the green light to be the first car company to test its self-driving cars on public roads.
This is another step towards a future where we will a proliferation of technology that will help cars be able to automatically handle tedious and predictable stop-and-go driving conditions, as well as unpredictable accident avoidance. The car maker’s self-driving version of the Audi TTS has already completed a 156-turn, 12.42-mile run on a circuit in just 27 minutes, at 200km/h.
Another use of autonomous vehicle technology is the idea that your car can become a self-parking valet by automatically finding a parking spot in a public garage, then retrieving it for you on demand—just as a human parking attendant/valet might do today.
Paging George Jetson.
Yes, Audi seems to be heading at top speed towards the cars of the future, and at the same time helping VW reach world dominance.