Audi's electric, self-driving car is still just a concept

The car will send data to the cloud to anticipate drivers' needs

Audi's E-Tron Quattro is a fully electric sport utility vehicle that can drive itself through traffic jams and find parking spots, but it's far from a reality. The concept car is what the German automaker sees as the future of transportation, but a car like this might make privacy advocates uneasy. 

The E-Tron will use a futuristic dashboard that is full of curved AMOLED screens. The screens replace the panels of buttons and knobs found in most cars. 

The car has movable panels that shift to make the vehicle more aerodynamic. Louver slats on the hood can open and close to increase or decrease airflow past thermal management components. In addition to the panels, the car could raise and lower its drive height depending on speed and terrain.

The brain of the car is the central driver assistance controller or zFAS. It's a circuit board about the size of a tablet computer. The zFAS will process data from the car's 3D cameras, the laser scanner, radar and ultrasonic sensors. 

"The zFAS will be capable of continuously comparing the data from the vehicle sensors with the model of the road space," said Ricky Hudi, executive vice president of electronic development at Audi. 

He said that the self-driving vehicles would send data to the cloud so that other cars can benefit from various situations.

"Every vehicle will have access to real time data from the cloud and can plan and react to changing conditions in a smart way," he said during a press conference at CES.

He said that the car would be able to anticipate drivers' needs after learning their driving patterns and personal points of interest.

The car would run on a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 95 kilowatts. The three electric motors can take the car from 0-60 miles per hour in about four seconds. 

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Nick Barber

IDG News Service
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