Automotive

Audi's R8 e-tron electric sports car now drives itself

Audi's R8 e-tron electric spor...
The R8 e-tron piloted driving concept makes a debut at the CES Asia show
The R8 e-tron piloted driving concept makes a debut at the CES Asia show
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Audi at CES Asia 2015
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Audi at CES Asia 2015
The R8 e-tron piloted driving concept makes a debut at the CES Asia show
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The R8 e-tron piloted driving concept makes a debut at the CES Asia show
Inside the R8 e-tron piloted concept
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Inside the R8 e-tron piloted concept
Piloted A7 Sportback
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Piloted A7 Sportback
Audi offered journalists rides in the piloted A7
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Audi offered journalists rides in the piloted A7
Piloted A7 Sportback
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Piloted A7 Sportback
In addition to a 456-hp motor setup and 92-kWh battery, the R8 e-tron piloted has an array of sensors
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In addition to a 456-hp motor setup and 92-kWh battery, the R8 e-tron piloted has an array of sensors
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
R8 e-tron piloted concept
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R8 e-tron piloted concept
View gallery - 16 images

Revealed at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the Audi R8 e-tron is already a technological tour de force. Its combination of battery-powered range and speed is equalled only by the Tesla Model S. At the inaugural CES Asia show, Audi made the R8 e-tron even more high-tech, rolling its autonomous driving suite into the electric coupe. The R8 e-tron piloted driving concept can unleash 456-hp worth of performance on the street ... without a driver stepping on the pedal.

It doesn't appear that Audi's done much testing of the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept, so we're not sure if the car can meet its full performance potential in autonomous mode. We're guessing the ride is dialed down a couple notches from the heights a skilled driver could take it. More than a means of seriously testing electric performance within an autonomous system, the concept car seems more a clever way for Audi to add a little trade-show flash to its autonomous driving technology, while shining the spotlight on the other cool tech in the production R8 e-tron.

The R8 e-tron's standard tech includes a 92-kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery providing up to 279.6 miles (450 km) of range, a 456-hp (340-kW) dual-motor powertrain with enough oomph to take the car from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, and a new multi-material Space Frame. To that, Audi adds a full autonomous driving suite to create the piloted R8 concept, which it classifies a "technical study." Data from the newly developed laser scanner, the video cameras, the ultrasonic sensors and the radar sensors is sent to the central driver assistance control unit (zFAS). That central computer then recreates an accurate picture of the car's surroundings to empower human-less decision making and actuation.

Audi offered journalists rides in the piloted A7
Audi offered journalists rides in the piloted A7

Audi didn't mention any test drives of the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept, but it did offer CES Asia journalists the opportunity to ride aboard a piloted A7 Sportback on a 9.3-mi (15-km) route through Shanghai. Hopefully it will do the same with the R8 e-tron at a future auto show as the idea of experiencing Audi's latest self-driving technology aboard its hottest sports car is quite appealing, to say the least.

Source: Audi

View gallery - 16 images
3 comments
Freyr Gunnar
I can't wait till they try selling that car in French-speaking markets…
"e-tron" sounds like "étron" ("turd").
Douglas Bennett Rogers
This would be great to buy as a time share. Buy a number of hours per month. Call it when you need it.
RehRek
I personally encourage the NIC (Non-Idiot Controlled) vehicles. Every day I see multiple people talking, texting and reading their phones while they drive, this cannot happen fast enough.
Not only that, but the sooner cars are made aware of their surroundings and can avoid accidents the sooner insurance companies will need to find some other cash cow. Insurance rates will have to come way, way down since getting into an accident will be far reduced and more likely the fault of a physical car driver.