American Marketer


Audi brings automated driving to real-world environment

June 1, 2017

Audi Q5 driving on a mountain road; Image credit: Audi


German automaker Audi will be testing its autonomous driving capabilities on the streets of New York.

New York State has awarded Audi with the first automated vehicle testing license, which will allow the automaker to conduct tests and demonstrate the technology it has developed. Audi will begin tests in New York’s capital city of Albany in mid-June.

On the open road
New York began accepting automated vehicle testing license applications in May. On June 1, Audi announced that it is the first company to be approved for the license.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “New York State is a nationwide leader in innovative highway safety programs, and the potential for autonomous vehicles to save lives on our roadways is immeasurable.”

With its newly approved license, Audi plans to test vehicles with Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) Level 3 automation. SAE Level 3 means that a vehicle is capable of automated driving when specific conditions are met, such as posted highway speeds.

Two trained engineers will be inside the vehicle, one in the front seat and the other in the back, to ensure safety and monitor the car’s systems.

Audi will conduct its tests and demonstrations of autonomous driving on public roads.

“We have been leading the way in the development of piloted driving technology for more than a decade now, and testing in real-world environments is a key step in our pursuit of safer roads,” said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, in a statement.

“[Audi] applauds Governor Cuomo for his leadership and stand ready to assist in defining how this future will unfold in the Empire State now and for years to come,” he said.

While younger generations are much more likely to embrace technological advances, Ketchum has discovered that the millennial and Gen Z groups are actually wary of autonomous vehicles.

In a April 2017 study, hacking and safety was shown to still be a real concern for the group Ketchum is labeling GenZennials in terms of driverless cars. Research is also showing that 16-to-24-year-olds are interested in ride sharing instead of vehicle owning, but many still desire the freedom of driving (see story).