Audi has lifted the lid on its latest technological developments at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with the premium German car maker revealing its autonomous driving system and some innovative lighting features that are set to reach showrooms in the near future.

Audi’s autonomous system, which it calls ‘piloted driving’, is designed to take control of the car’s acceleration, braking and steering functions in congested traffic at speeds up to 60km/h, freeing up the driver to focus on other tasks.

The system utilises Audi’s adaptive cruise control technology, with two radar sensors, a wide-angle video camera, eight ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings to keep it safely on track.

An added feature of the piloted driving system is its autonomous parking function, allowing drivers to exit their vehicle in front of a garage or tight parking spot and instruct the car to park itself via either the key fob or a smartphone. After reaching its final position, the vehicle shuts off its engine, deactivates the ignition, locks the doors and sends a confirmation message to the driver.


An industry pioneer in vehicle lighting technology, Audi also revealed a number of new features based on laser lights and OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes).

In good visibility, Audi’s laser tail-light technology projects a fan-shaped red line onto the road surface, prompting the driver behind to maintain a safe travelling distance. In fog or rain, the laser beam illuminates the water droplets, forming the shape of a large, floating warning triangle.

Audi also believes OLEDs can replace conventional semiconductor crystal-based LEDs inside vehicles and in tail-lights in future models. OLEDs consist of an organic material spread extremely thinly (only a few thousandths of a millimetre thick) across a perfectly flat surface and emit light-creating photons when an electrical voltage is applied, creating a light distribution that is both homogenous and energy efficient.

Audi believes OLEDs have particular potential in what’s known as a ‘swarm’ layout, with its engineers transforming the vehicle’s rear end into a large, continuous light surface with small points of light moving and flickering like a school of fish.

“The movements of the red dots follow the movements of the vehicle,” Audi explains.

“When a right turn is made, they flow to the right; when the car is braked, they flow rapidly forwards; the faster the car goes, the faster they move. The following driver can always see right away what the driver of the car in front is doing.”

Audi is continuing work on the technologies displayed at CES in the hope of enhancing the safety and innovation of its production vehicles over the next decade.

  • TG

    WTF? Are Audi producing mobile Xmas Trees now?

    • Ly61

      no offense but to me it is this kind of over-conservative thinking that makes our street so boring

      • Phunken

        Unlike those god aweful adolescent neon under car lighting from the early 00 that make it more useful…

    • 3D4

      It is suppose to be a “showcase” – what could be done in near future..

      Taillights for all cars, illuminated pilars for emergency services, maintenance cars, etc.. All fitted to one showcar..

      Got it now?

  • Al

    The rear kind of looks like the BMW i8.

  • Daniel

    Well it isn’t boring, but the pattern looks like a children’s bed spread so it sort of tacky.

  • The Real Wile E

    More fairy lights to try to lift the bland Audi appearance.Give me standard looking lights and more exciting or different exterior.

    • Sonic

      Did you read the article?

      • The Real Wile E

        Yeah its techno bs

  • Al Tungupon

    BMW leads in driver excitement.
    Mercedes is the king of luxury.
    Audi triumphs in lighting.

    • Ly61

      Woot! I guess lighting is very important then as Audi just surpassed Mercedes and is catching up with BMW. 

      • Al Tungupon

        Well, you could be right. Many people buy cars based on style, and Merc has somewhat lost their touch in that department. Their LEDs look more like strips purchased from eBay, while Audi and BMW have their trademark lights that stand out.

        • Amlohac

          To be honnest I think Merc have done good things with the current style model. The think SLS and the new A class.

  • Andrew_diablo

    Another great innovation from Audi… OLED light is really state-of-the-art in motoring industry even though some mobile phones screen has been using for a while back.

  • Yash

    Freeing up the driver to focus on other tasks! Hmmmm like masturbating

  • $29896495

    This is nuts! OK, I actually read and got the point of the story. Autonomous cars. early stages of self driving in free way conditions. May not be a bad thing in congested traffic. I mean switch it on and let it have it’s way. Catch 40 winks, watch some TV, but what happens when the express way traffic runs out and you are dozing off. There are no cars for the system to reference, and a traffic light goes red? As at the end of the M2. The parking trick would be very handy however.

    Issue is there are so many out there now who can barely drive their automatic and this reduces skill levels even further.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Very cool.

  • Phunken

    Imagine every car on the road lit up like this, seizure inducing, try to read what a car doing ahead by the swarm effect of the car hmmm I think I car predict what a car doing be the indicator and braking lights. I believe in the OLED idea but laser guided signals project on road is distracting and form over function