Driverless Audi Delivers Film Star to the Red Carpet

Uber drivers look worried…

Daniel Bruhl, a star of The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglourious Basterds and Rush, where he played Niki Lauda, is used ot applause when he arrives at film premiere. However, the car was the star as he stepped out of an Audi A8 to a gala event at Germany’s Berlinale Film Festival.

The twelve-cylinder, long-wheelbase A8 L W12 picked up the internationally renowned actor and his girlfriend Felicitas Rombold from their hotel in Berlin and drove them directly to the Berlinale Palast, but there was one thing missing – the driver.

With an empty driver’s seat, the Audi travelled in a smooth and stately fashion by registering prominent architectural features along the driving route, comparing this logging with precise mapping and synchronising the information with data from its own calculation of its movements, posting another milestone on the path to Audi piloted driving in the process.

“We are developing and testing our technologies for piloted driving under all conditions,” explains Dr. Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Audi board member for technical development. “We have already proven that we can have piloted cars drive safely on a race track and on the expressway. At the Berlinale, we have now mastered a complex urban traffic situation with maximum ease.”

Audi has been testing its systems for piloted driving under increasingly more challenging conditions. The first tests were conducted in 2009 at a salt lake in the USA before, just one year later, an Audi TTS climbed Pikes Peak without a driver. In 2013, Audi test platforms performed piloted driving for the first time on public roads in Nevada.

More recently, an Audi RS 7 Sportback drove a lap at race pace at the Hockenheim race circuit, while last year engineers demonstrated automatic emergency evasive manoeuvres in a test vehicle with moving obstacles in the urban environment.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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