Audi was the first to perform tests of automated piloted driving in Florida on Monday when Joe Waggoner, Executive Director of Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority (THEA) got inside the self-driving Audi A7 and let the car do all the work. As you can see, the vehicle was driven on freeway conditions and reached speeds of up to 40 mph.
According to Audi, their initial variant of piloted driving (known as Traffic Jam Pilot) will be able to reach production cars within the next five years. The German automaker expressed its appreciation for authorities in Florida for allowing them to test the system on the Express Authority, a process which is very important during the development done prior to implementing the technology in production cars.
It was back in 2012 when governor Scott signed into law HB 1207, thus permitting testing of autonomous vehicles in Florida, making the state only one of the three in the U.S. where manufacturers of cars and technology have the possibility of researching and investing in automated piloted driving tech.
Authorities in Florida hope that this sort of research will create innovations in this domain which will bring advancements as far as safety is concerned while driving. Governor Scott believes this type of research and development in automated piloted driving technology works as a catalyst for attracting scientists, engineers and students to the sunshine state.