Photo of the day: hands off in Audi’s autonomous A7

A little while ago, TG experienced a self-driving Audi. It was on a track, and the car had been pre-programmed to drive us around. It was still a bit eerie.

Audi’s ‘Piloted Driving’ project has moved on considerably since, though. Its cars are now out on actual roads, with other cars. The latest test car, which you see here, is an Audi A7 nicknamed Jack.

“Jack exhibits a driving style that is adaptive to the given situation, safe and especially interactive,” says Audi. “It is a research car with social competence.”

That ‘competence’ means it leaves appropriate gaps, signals whenever it’s changing lanes, and keeps an eye on all the vehicles around it. So when a car, bike or lorry is merging onto the motorway, Jack makes judgements on lane selection and speed that best suit everyone to make sure it all happens smoothly.

It ought to blend quite nicely into the autobahn traffic Audi is currently developing it in, then. If only the driver keeping supervision would put his hands back inside, anyway…