Now that most automakers have at least one electric car in their stable, with more and more on the way, the next new automotive venture is autonomy. Car companies are now investing big money into advancements in autonomous driving technology. While most brands feel that autonomy is still a long ways away, it’s good to get an early start in its development. Which is why Audi is opening an automated driving development office in Silicon Valley.
The new office is for the Audi Automated Driving Development, cleverly nicknamed “A2D2”. At A2D2 (you know Audi loves us all saying that), Audi will work on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) specifically for the North American market.
“Given the rapid advancement of driver assistance technologies in North America, it’s important to be part of the latest breakthroughs, work with leading edge of technology startups and attract the top talent,” said Frank Grosshauser, senior director, ADAS, Audi of America. “We’re looking to bring on as many as 60 engineers to develop new functionalities, catered specifically to North American Audi customer needs.”
While A2D2 is only the latest of many Audi R&D offices in North America, it’s the only one solely dedicated to automated driving technologies. To test this new tech, several Audi Q7 mules have been wrapped in a special QR code, which when scanned by a mobile phone will take users to the A2D2 website. The wrap and design were actually developed by the Audi Design Loft studio in Malibu, California.
What’s interesting about this is that Audi was actually the first automaker to announce Level 3 Autonomy, in the Audi A8. However, the brand scrapped those plans for North America due to regulation restrictions. However, it seems the brand is now investing heavily in the development of this new self-driving frontier.