Watch out for an Audi SQ5 near you. It’s driverless and it’s now making its way from San Francisco to New York utilizing Delphi autonomous car technology.
Jump-starting the long-planned and heavily promoted claims by Tesla one of its electric cars will also be driven across the country on autonomous technology, Audi hopes its experiment will prove successful in time for the New York Auto Show.
The Audi’s trek, which began March 22, is planned for about 3,500 miles. In addition to the vehicle, the Audi voyage began with a few engineers and a “driver.” Stints of six-to-eight hours are planned with the driver in the car.
The SQ5 is one of four vehicles Delphi has modified for autonomous driving duty, with an array of sensors, LIDAR, radar, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and a multi-domain controller processing an estimated two terabytes of data that will collected during the trip.
Although the Delphi autonomous system is capable of stopping at stop signs and for pedestrians, the Audi en route to New York will only drive itself on the highway. The vehicle is equipped with four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six lidars, a localization system, intelligent software algorithms and advanced drive assistance systems.
The driver will operate the Audi when it’s not progressing on highways. The New York International Auto Show begins April 3.
Tesla and Mercedes-Benz are among several manufacturers testing autonomous vehicles. Google has been testing its driverless car since 2012.
The progress of the autonomously driven Audi can be monitored on delphidrive.com.