Audi to produce electric, autonomous city car by 2021

It’s no secret that the auto industry is moving toward autonomy. Self-driving cars are the new big thing and they’ll be here quicker than we originally anticipated. At the moment, we don’t have the proper tech, government support or infrastructure to warrant any autonomous cars. However, Audi feels that we will in 2021 and plans on releasing a very small and limited run city car that will be both fully electric and autonomous.

Admittedly, by autonomous, Audi likely means Level 3 autonomy. Level 3 will allow for drivers to temporarily relieve control of the vehicle over to the vehicle itself under ideal conditions. Though, the driver will always be required to be ready to take over within just a few seconds, if the car deems necessary.

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During a recent annual meeting, higher-ups inside Audi laid out their plans for the future of the brand and a small electric/autonomous car is part of them. This little Audi city car will likely be similar to the current VW e-Up, which is a very small electric city car.

2015 Audi A1 three-door

There are no specifics on what this car would be or what it would be called, though. We can speculate but it’s highly likely to change by then. We’re guessing either something like an A1, or even A2, e-tron. But it’s yet to be seen.

This news comes at the perfect time, as the Ingolstadt-based brand is again in some trouble for its diesel emissions. So news that the brand is pushing for more electric and efficient cars will only help its image. We already know that the next-gen Audi A8 will be the most technologically-advanced car on the market and is said to come with Level 3 autonomy right out of the box next year. So maybe this new little city car will be even more advanced than that. Especially considering that Audi plans on being able to have Level 4 autonomy by 2020, with the help of Nvidia. Though, that seems like a pipedream for now. We’ll see and update you as we hear more.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.