Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CES: What happens if you fall asleep in a self-driving car? Audi knows

The first time we've needed a police escort for a CES demo

The Verge - Audi brought several high-tech car demos to CES this week — as it did last year — including two that took us out into the mean streets of Las Vegas, subject to the whims of rush hour traffic. Fortunately, we had a couple interesting new features making our bumper-to-bumper commutes just a little bit easier.

First, we tested a system that feeds upcoming traffic light data directly into the cockpit. While driving, the next light on your road is indicated in green with a suggested speed next to it — if it says 45mph, for instance, that means you'll make the light if you're going 45. When the light's red or about to turn red, the system indicates how many more seconds you've got before it changes back to green; if the car has a start-stop engine, it'll automatically fire up with five seconds left on the red so that you're not waiting for the engine to spool up when you take your foot off the brake. The goal is to help you make more green lights on surface streets — and when you can't, at least you've got an idea of how long of a wait you're in for.