We recently learned that Audi is using a small, 1:8 scale Audi Q2 autonomous car to create artificial intelligence for future autonomous driving systems. The four-ringed brand recently showed off its Q2 “Deep Learning Concept” at NIPS (stock snickering), where the little car was able to find a random parking spot entirely on its own.
The real impressive part of the system is that it learns. Audi doesn’t give the Q2 DLC a pre-set parking spot and set of parameters. It simply puts the little autonomous car in a 3×3 meter enclosed area with some random “cars” and a random parking spot. The Q2 DLC must then learn where it is, where obstacles are and where the parking spot is through trial and error. It learns its surroundings and finds a parking spot accordingly, which is fascinating.
Despite fear of Skynet and the machines taking over, the Audi Q2 DLC is a very interesting little concept. It should help create better autonomous driving systems for the future, as a car that can think, rather than just respond to sensors, will be far safer and more usable than anything we have today.
You can see how the Audi Q2 DLC works in this video below.