With an Audi vehicle selling every 22 seconds, the popularity of the four-ring badge has placed greater emphasis into making the right decisions for the German luxury brand’s future. A month ago, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG Rupert Stadler presented an explicit presentation on the state of the German luxury car brand. As Audi utilizes new technologies and ideas, upcoming production models could be shaped with radical concepts.
Rupert Stadler spoke proudly of the success of Audi as well as affiliate brands Lamborghini and motorcycle maker Ducati. Highlighting several new products, the Audi A3 and Audi A3 e-Tron was enthusiastically pitched. A model line responsible for over three-million Audi products sold, the new Audi A3 has already been confirmed for the United States. In addition to the Audi A3 e-tron combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine, the compact car will also be sold in a variant burning natural gas. Audi’s Stadler also spoke in depth about research into e-gas, e-diesel and e-ethanol. Derived largely from carbon dioxide, the potential with this fuel source category is a renewable product that can reduce dependency on the Earth’s reserves or farmland.
Audi still takes great pride in the construction of performance-oriented vehicles such as the newly-introduced Audi RS7 Sportback and SQ5 crossover. Stadler points out how the premium car maker delivered four new RS models during the 30th year of quattro all-wheel drive. Recent and radical vehicle introductions was the Audi RS Q3 crossover. Audi has assessed that one of every four premium vehicle sold in now a crossover or sport utility vehicle. Expecting the number to increase by 2020, the Audi RS Q3 and the SQ5 products were reactions to a growing luxury car trend.
Beyond the energy source driving future Audi products, Rupert Stadler mentioned how vehicles could be driven in the future. With many young drivers proficient in the use of their smartphone even before they receive their practice permit, the piloted driving puts vehicle control into a more familiar platform. A major attraction at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Audi’s piloted driving technology demonstrated the promise of computer-aided travel under some circumstances. After the January showcase of the system, Stadler gave a bold decoration about Audi’s piloted driving technology. Rupert Stadler is confident aspects of piloted driving will become part of production automobiles in the next decade. In his annual press conference, a more pragmatic tone recognizes the challenges for the computer-guided system. Stadler pointed to the current lack of consistent operating standards for autonomous systems like Audi’s piloted driving as a hurdle. Audi and the German government is in talks with constructing a legal consciences in the use of computer-guided driving in
With the company intending to sell two million cars by the year 2020, manufacturing capacity was a dominating topic in the final one-third of Rupert Stadler’s speech. The chairman of Audi AG has plans to commit 11 billion euros (14.4 million United States dollars) into enhancements to production facilities around the world. Stadler provided an update on Audi’s Mexican plant slated to be up and running by 2016. The future home of the Audi Q5 crossover, the auto company has already begun taking on employees in key management positions for the San José Chiapa facility. The auto plant in Mexico will be Audi’s first manufacturing facility outside of Europe used to exclusively produce vehicles for the global vehicle marketplace.
Improved fuel economy, increased production capacity and the reality we are bordering on autonomous driving is part of Audi’s future.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
As 2013 is still in its infancy, Audi has been moving with the momentum of being shot out of a cannon. Firming up their 2013 auto racing plans in December, the month of January has been like a second Christmas for Audi fans. Two world premieres are set for the 2013 North American International Auto Show (the already-announced Audi SQ5 and another product yet released), the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a bustling scene for the four-ring auto brand.
Kicking off Monday ahead of CES with the announcement that their Audi TTS self-driving vehicle was granted a license to operate on Nevada roads, the auto company’s presence around the Las Vegas Convention Center display give fans of the brand famous for quattro drive a lot to be excited about this past week. With so many great pieces of future technology inside, Audi displayed new LED lighting, 3-D sound and the hands-free, voice-operated text messaging system set for inclusion on the upcoming Audi A3. However, where Audi stole the 2013 CES was with an exhibit of a working prototype in an outside parking garage.
Demonstrating a concept the brand calls piloted driving, Audi venturing into bold avenues in automotive technology. Piloted driving is actually the integration of driving assist self-driving properties being examined by Audi as ways to improve the experience behind the wheel. Adaptive cruise control, active lane assist and Audi pre sense name products already aiding drivers of the latest premium German branded vehicles by predicting actions on the road. The next monumental display of Audi’s piloted driving is systems that can responsibility assume tasks for brief moments with full autonomy.
When an Audi vehicle fitted with the brand’s concept of piloted driving enters a traffic jam, the technology will bring relief to the taxing ordeal of stop and go driving. Acceleration, braking and steering is electronically-controlled through Audi’s piloted driving to safely guide the vehicle through traffic jams at speeds under 60 kilometers per hour (37.3 miles per hour). Eight ultrasonic sensors, two radar sensors, a laser scanner and a wide-angle camera work together on the piloted driving vehicle scanning the road. Audi’s piloted driving technology in traffic situations is not the only auto brand looking at this problem. Ford Motor Company has been testing a similar system called Traffic Jam Assist Technology with the same objective to improve individual as well as overall vehicle moving patterns.
However, the most buzz in regards to Audi piloted driving is the ability to park itself. Going beyond parallel parking assist systems that Lexus brought to market several years ago, piloted driving can effectively take the driver out of the equation after the program is initiated. In Las Vegas, a specially equipped Audi A7 was guided in and out of parking spots autonomously. Like something you would have seen in a James Bond movie, the procedure behind Audi piloted parking is not out of the scope of modern reality. The Audi A7 piloted driving vehicles was controlled through a central computer transmitting over a wireless connection to precisely guide the car to a free parking space. In this peak into the perhaps not-so-distant future, Audi articulates drivers can operate the piloted parking system through a smartphone or key fob remote control.
Operating in a paradox with less control by the driver is actually more control, Audi’s piloted driving proposes a greatly different luxury car experience. Audi’s case history of bringing bold automotive technology to the premium vehicle marketplace is proven with all-wheel drive and turbodiesel powerplants. After the 2013 CES appearance, we can expect a lot more from the German luxury car magnate.
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG