Mercedes-Benz, Audi Showcase New Self-Driving Concept Cars

 
 
By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2015-01-16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Mercedes-Benz, Audi Showcase New Self-Driving Concept Cars
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    Mercedes-Benz, Audi Showcase New Self-Driving Concept Cars

    by Todd R. Weiss
  • Previous
    2 - Mercedes-Benz F 015 Self-Driving Concept Car
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    Mercedes-Benz F 015 Self-Driving Concept Car

    Making its world premiere at CES, the Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle includes a sleek, space-age shape and an intriguing system of internal features that could someday take the driving out of taking a trip.
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    3 - Not Your Father's Mercedes Inside
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    Not Your Father's Mercedes Inside

    The F 015 features an interior that can only be described as lounge-like and somewhat stark, until you begin to see the luxury materials and capabilities that are available to its passengers. The car includes an extensive sensor system that monitors the entire area around it as it "drives."
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    4 - Gesture Controls for Passengers
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    Gesture Controls for Passengers

    The Mercedes is built to enable a constant exchange of information between vehicle, passengers and the outside world. Inside the car, six display screens are integrated into the instrument panel and the rear and side panels, allowing passengers to control systems using gestures.
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    5 - In-Car Seating Like You've Never Seen
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    In-Car Seating Like You've Never Seen

    Inside the F 015, four "lounge chairs" have a variable seating configuration, with the seats having the ability to pivot so the passengers can face each other in the cabin. The seats easily allow the driver and front-seat passenger to turn their eyes and attention toward the front if needed.
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    6 - Autonomous Driving With Style
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    Autonomous Driving With Style

    The F 015 has large LED light modules on its front and rear, which allow the car to communicate and interact with the outside world. The LEDs glow blue to tell pedestrians when the car is driving autonomously or white when it is being operated by a driver.
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    7 - On-Screen Controls for Passengers
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    On-Screen Controls for Passengers

    High-resolution touch-screen displays inside the car allow passengers to interact intuitively with the connected vehicle through gestures, eye-tracking or touch. Sensors recognize the passengers' hands and provide the required interfaces for each type of interaction.
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    8 - Let the Sleek Mercedes Take You Anywhere
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    Let the Sleek Mercedes Take You Anywhere

    A full package of stereo cameras, radar and other sensors monitor everything around the car, with all of the data being constantly fed with up-to-the-minute information via the Internet, according to Mercedes. That also includes information on activities nearby, outside the range of the sensors.
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    9 - Here's Audi's A7 Piloted Vehicle
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    Here's Audi's A7 Piloted Vehicle

    Audi's A7 Sportback concept vehicle includes equipment that allows it to manage lane changes and passing, acceleration and braking. Before switching to a passing lane, the system aligns the car's speed with that of surrounding vehicles.
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    10 - Test Driver Uses No Hands to Drive
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    Test Driver Uses No Hands to Drive

    Audi is developing systems for what it calls "piloted driving" on highways, which is easier for autonomous cars because there are fewer unseen hazards, such as pedestrians jumping out between parked vehicles. If the system runs into something unfamiliar, it prompts the driver to take over the wheel.
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    11 - Piloted Driving Mode Indicator
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    Piloted Driving Mode Indicator

    The Audi includes a wide range of special sensors to operate autonomously, including a radar system, a video camera that detects the lane markings and objects, sensors and a laser scanner, which delivers highly precise data to the car's systems to tell it what is happening nearby.
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    12 - On-Dash Indicators Show Driving Status
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    On-Dash Indicators Show Driving Status

    A central driver assistance controller (zFAS) in the Audi computes a comprehensive model of the car's exterior perimeter, which is then communicated to all assistance and piloted driving systems. Audi expects to have such piloted driving control modules in vehicles before the end of the decade.
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    13 - Audi A7 Piloted Vehicle Processes Data via the Cloud
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    Audi A7 Piloted Vehicle Processes Data via the Cloud

    The data collected by the Audi's driving control module is routed to an IT back end in the cloud via cellular networks, using LTE where available, according to Audi. The data is then processed using machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms and transmitted back to the car, adding to its future intelligence.
 

Today's automobiles and trucks have a myriad of powerful safety systems, from anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to traction control, stability control, multiple airbags and much more. But at their heart, today's production vehicles all still require a human to drive them. That requirement, however, may someday be less important, if the driverless vehicles being designed, tested and explored by companies such as Google someday reach dealer showrooms. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz and Audi displayed their own ideas of what driverless, or autonomous, cars could one day look like on our roads. The Mercedes concept vehicle, called the F 015 Luxury in Motion, is incredibly futuristic with four seats that can turn to face each other inside the spacious cabin, while the specially equipped Audi A7 Sportback Concept looks on the outside just like a car you might see on the streets around you today. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the innovations and ideas that both companies are testing in these innovative and forward-looking vehicles.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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