Audi is one of the world leaders in autonomous testing. The brand’s self-driving Audi A7’s have been doing thousands of miles worth of testing without a driver across the globe. However, as of yet, no automakers have tested in New York. Audi has tested in Nevada and Connecticut but never the Empire State. Now, though, New York has allowed companies to apply for autonomous car testing and Audi grabbed the first permit.
This autonomous Audi A7 that will be conducting testing in Albany will be testing Level 3 autonomy. For the uneducated, Level 3 autonomy allows the car to drive itself up to highway speeds when lane markings are clear and conditions are ideal. During this period of autonomous driving, the self-driving Audi can do this unassisted for as long as possible. However, a driver must be present behind the wheel and must be able to take over within just a few seconds if the car encounters something it can’t handle. However, if conditions remain ideal, it can drive itself for as long as conditions remain.
Audi claims that the next-gen A8 will debut with Level 3 autonomy right out of the box in 2018. So it seems that this is important testing for the Ingolstadt-based brand. Though, the next-gen Audi A8 is almost finished with development, so we’re wondering how much of this testing will go into the new car.
During the Audi A7’s testing in Albany, New York, two engineers will be present while the car drives on a predetermined route. This route has already been approved by New York State Police, so they will know the car is doing its thing and it won’t cause a problem.
This just another indicator that Audi is trying to become a world-leader in autonomous technology. The folks in Ingolstadt know that autonomy is the next big automotive enterprise and are pushing hard for it. New York is just the latest arena in which to do so.