Audi has just become the second company to be issued an autonomous vehicle permit from the state of Nevada, the first state to pass legislation regarding the testing of autonomous cars on public roads. The first permit was issued to Google for its autonomous Toyota Prius.
The Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University have been developing autonomous cars for a few years now. In 2010, the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak research car autonomously completed the 156-turn, 12.4-mile Pikes Peak circuit in about 27 minutes. A driverless autonomous Audi TTS lapped Thunderhill Raceway with speeds as high as 120 mph this past summer.
Audi compares the future of its autonomous driving technology to auto-pilot systems on jetlinersThe car could take over for mundane stop-and-go driving or parallel park in tight spots without the driver giving up all vehicle control.
In Europe, Volvo successfully tested a “road train” on public highways where several vehicles closely followed each other at a distance of about 20 feet for about 122 miles and at speeds up to 53 mph.