The Future of Autonomous Driving?

The International Consumer Electronics Show is happening in Vegas as we speak, and Audi has made a splash with Piloted Driving, its new autonomous vehicle technology.

To demonstrate Piloted Driving, Audi presented an A7 equipped with radars, a laser and a computer to monitor traffic and control steering, braking and acceleration. The technology, which is apparently near production-ready, is designed to keep the car at a set distance from the car in front of it and within its lane lines, at speeds under 40 mph. For urban commuters, sub-40 mph speeds are pretty much the standard speed.

Read more about Piloted Driving at CNET and USA Today. And check out the amazing Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept here. Characteristic of Audi, it’s a looker!

As a driving enthusiast, I remain skeptical of autonomous driving. At least for myself. If the rest of you want to be passengers, that’s fine with me. That will probably keep me safer. I just never want to see human-driven cars go the way of the manual transmission, slowly disappearing amidst the convenience of technology. I doubt that will happen, at least in my lifetime, but I feel the philosophical need to mildly protest anyway.

(protest, protest)

But if anyone can create dynamic, engaging autonomous technology, it’s Audi. So I wish them well…as long as they don’t shove it down my throat.