Audi AG today will test its highly automated car technology, the first company to do so, on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida. This expressway was recently designated as an automated driving and connected car test bed. Audi will showcase its highly automated piloted driving technology in an A7, which will be equipped to handle driving functions on freeway conditions up to 40 m/h (about 64 km/h). The test will begin on the expressway at 9:30 am (local time).
Audi said it expects the initial version of piloted driving, called Traffic Jam Pilot to be available to consumers within five years. The ability to conduct research in the real-world conditions offered by Florida and the expressway authority is crucial to pre-production development, the company noted.
Governor of Florida, Rick Scott signed a law in 2012 allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles in the state. The law also made Florida one of only three states where automobile and technology manufacturers could invest, with certainty, in research and design projects for autonomous technology.
Governor Scott said this kind of R&D work becomes a catalyst for attracting engineers, scientists, and students to Florida as they define the future of transportation. The state also is hopeful that this research will unlock innovations that will bring safety advances to Florida drivers sooner, he added.
Governor Scott and Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes, along with select media will have the opportunity to experience automated driving technology first hand in the driver’s seat of the Audi A7.