A start-up company from San Francisco that goes by the name of Cruise Automation has developed semi-autonomous technology and they are showcasing it on a US-spec Audi A4. This is more than just for show as the system – called RP1 – will go effectively on sale next year at a price tag of $10,000.
It was conceived for 2012 and onwards A4 and S4 models but most likely future developments will allow the RP1 to be compatible with other Audi models as well as vehicles from other automakers. The system encompasses a sensor pod mounted on the roof which contains cameras along with a radar as well as other sensors – all for the purpose of scanning the road up ahead. The recorded data is then sent to a small computer installed on the trunk’s side.
After that, the necessary inputs are made by actuators for the brakes, steering and throttle in order to control the vehicle. The person behind the wheel can press a button mounted inside the cabin which will turn on the autopilot and set the desired speed.
For now, the RP1 kit is still a combination between a semi-autonomous driving tech and a more advanced adaptive cruise control system which only works on select Californian highways on which it can stop and accelerate the car.