Audi has a lot to celebrate as it has just announced that it is the first automaker to receive an autonomous driving permit in California. A range of new autonomous vehicle laws have gone into effect in California, which requires a surety bond of at least $5 million per vehicle to qualify. Audi says that it is absolutely crucial to have received the permit for the Audi Piloted Driving testing because the state is home to the brand’s Electronics Research Lab.
Electronics Research Lab engineers are working on a wide range of automated driving issues, including human-machine interface prompts that indicate when the human or the vehicle are handling driving functions. Audi, ERL and Stanford University engineers also collaborated on the development of the autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak car.
“Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to revolutionize driving, reduce traffic accidents and save lives. I applaud the efforts of Audi of America and others whose commitment is making this technology a reality,” stated California Senator Alex Padilla.
In 2012, Audi was the first automaker to receive a Nevada autonomous vehicle license plate and in July, Audi was the first automaker to demonstrate the capability of its automated driving technologies on a Tampa expressway newly designated as an autonomous and connected car test bed.
“Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “Obtaining the first permit issued by the State of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”
Audi believes that its autonomous technology will be available for drivers within the next five years.