SOURCE: Audi of America

Audi of America

January 09, 2014 09:00 ET

Audi, University Researchers Explore Cars That Would Predict the Future, Adapt to Drivers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 9, 2014) -

  • Advances developed under Audi Urban Intelligent Assist research project intended to make chaotic urban commutes less stressful
  • Research conducted with University of Southern California; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Berkeley PATH and University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
  • AUIA technologies would tap and analyze Big Data, as well as provide attention monitoring and the ability to learn from each driver's schedules, habits and preferences

Audi Urban Intelligent Assist (AUIA) is developing technologies aimed at making traffic jams, parking difficulties and tough urban navigation a thing of the past. Through a partnership involving its Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Silicon Valley and four leading U.S. research universities, the automaker is developing groundbreaking innovations in predictive driving technology that would allow a car to anticipate future traffic trends and "learn" a person's driving habits for a customized driving experience on each commute.

Audi, with an eye toward increasingly dangerous traffic patterns in the world's biggest cities, launched the AUIA research project to help make urban driving safer and more convenient through a number of revolutionary functions. Those functions include technology that tells the motorist the optimal time to leave for an appointment, directing them on the most efficient route to open street or garage parking and naturalistic navigation based on visual cues, driver awareness monitoring and signals on when it is safe to accomplish maneuvers to merge or change lanes on a congested highway.

The AUIA project is the latest in a series of research projects that Audi has formed with leading U.S. universities to explore the frontiers of automotive technologies and electronics. The project continues to make strides in solving tomorrow's mobility challenges and developing technologies to provide motorists a stress-free driving experience.

Recently, AUIA was demonstrated to a select group of automotive industry and technology media in San Francisco, Calif. Representatives from the Volkswagen Group ERL and three of the partner universities offered their insights into AUIA technology followed by an exclusive drive throughout the streets of the Bay Area. 

"The real-life mobility challenges presented by the streets of San Francisco provide a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how Audi Urban Intelligent Assist technology can transform a vehicle from a stylish expression of one's self into a useful tool that can revolutionize the way a person drives," said Mario Tippelhofer, Senior Software Engineer, ERL. "This project brings to life a connected car that essentially predicts the behavior of its driver, analyzes current and future driving conditions and creates a safer and hopefully less stressful experience for the person behind the wheel."

The San Francisco AUIA demonstration focused on two primary applications: Audi Centric Urban Navigation and Audi Urban Assistance. Both functions utilize traffic information from multiple on and off board sources to predict how traffic in a city flows throughout the day and combines this information with driver diagnostic data to generate a route that is comfortable, efficient and tailor-made to each driver.

Highlights of the featured technology include:

Audi Driver Centric Urban Navigation

  • Time-2-Start notifies drivers via their mobile devices how long it will take them to reach their destination before they leave.
  • Smart Parking combines the parking habits of a driver with the availability of nearby parking spots-parking structures as well as metered street parking -- to help identify parking spots in a destination area and provide navigation to that location.
  • Predictive Traffic anticipates and analyzes current traffic patterns based on present and past traffic data, along with weather and event information.
  • Naturalistic Guidance uses surrounding landmarks to provide detailed instructions for easy navigation (e.g. "Please turn left at the park").
  • Seamless Navigation provides walking guidance to the driver from his or her "Smart Parking" spot directly to their destination.

Audi Urban Assistance

  • Merge Assist helps a driver merge on the highway by utilizing components of speed calculation and speed displayed in the instrument cluster and green LEDs on the side mirrors notify the driver it is safe to merge.
  • Lane Change Assist monitors a driver's blind spot areas as well as fast-approaching vehicles and hazardous objects in an effort to assist the driver in changing lanes on the highway. The system also analyses driver behavior to predict when the driver intends to performing a lane change. This coupled with the environmental data allows the vehicle to signal the driver when it is safe to change lanes via green LED lights on the side mirrors.
  • Attention Guard provides early detection of driver distraction through countermeasures that get the attention of a driver and bring their focus back on the road.

Development
AUIA technology was developed through a partnership between Audi AG, the ERL in Silicon Valley, as well as three leading California engineering research universities: the University of Southern California, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at San Diego. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute also contributed to development. Research included crunching numbers through algorithms, real time data, Human Machine Interface (HMI) advanced sensors, radar detections and other innovative approaches.

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. Its parent company, AUDI AG, is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

ABOUT THE ELECTRONICS RESEARCH LABORATORY
The Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Belmont, California, is a high-tech think-tank that has been developing new technologies for Audi cars and other brands within the Volkswagen Group since 1998. The ERL focuses on accelerating automotive innovation for future production vehicles. Positioned in the heart of Silicon Valley, the ERL works closely with many of the world's leading high-tech companies, start-ups, and universities. Information regarding the ERL can be found at http://www.vwerl.com/.