Cruise Automation Converts Audis into Self-Driving Cars
Fully self-driving cars will make their way into production sometime around the year 2020, but if you live in California and just can’t wait that long to get a bit of autonomous action, Audi may have just the thing for you.
A San Francisco start-up called Cruise Automation is launching an aftermarket autopilot system called RP1, which it will begin delivering in 2015 for $10,000. It was designed for the Audi A4 and S4 from 2012 model years and later, and though the Cruise Automation CEO says it will expand to other cars in the future, the Audi models are so far the only models to benefit from it.
RP1 uses a sensor pod on the roof that contains cameras, radar, and other sensors to scan the road ahead and around the car. It then sends data to a small computer mounted on the side of the trunk, after which inputs are made by actuators to control the car’s steering, brakes, and throttle.
It sounds just like a self-driving car, except a major downside: it only works on select highways in California. “We use geofencing to limit the areas of operation to segments of highway in which we’ve collected enough data to ensure our customers’ safety,” said Kyle Vogt, Cruise Automation CEO.
Either way, it sounds really cool. Check out the promo video below!