audi.automotiveIT

An Audi test executive parks his car using an iPhone (Photo: Audi)

Popular Science magazine has cited Audi's piloted driving system as "Product of the Future," while The Verge, an online technology publication, commended the system as "Best Automotive Technology" at this year's CES trade fair.

Audi showed journalists coming to the annual consumer electronics show a working version of its piloted driving system, which can operate a car under certain conditions. The technology also allows a driver to summon his car from a parking spot or send it to the nearest available parking bay using a mobile phone.

Audi officials said both technologies could be in series production by the end of the decade.

"The awards acknowledge our development work and show that we are on the right track," said Ricky Hudi, who heads Audi's electrics and electronics development.

With piloted parking, the premium carmaker's technology uses an array of sensors that allow the car to drive autonomously. Audi is equipping a parking garage in Ingolstadt, the southern German city where it is headquartered, with the necessary technology. The parking garage’s central computer has to take partial control of the car and guide it to a parking spot using a wireless LAN. The car monitors its surroundings through 12 ultrasonic sensors.

Audi officials said their piloted-driving technology, which allows for autonomous driving under certain conditions, is essentially ready for rollout, but the hardware, which takes up much of a test car's trunk space, still needs to be reduced in size.