Published on May 5th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Audi stepping up in GPS mapping for piloted driving purposes
We all know Audi’s taking big steps towards making automated driving a reality. We see other companies trying to follow suit, but it remains that Audi was the first automotive manufacturer to really support a project like this. They went so far as to prove that an automated vehicle could be functional on the racetrack, with their A7/RS7 piloted car taking journalists for a creepy joy ride.
But that’s only one half of the story. The systems involved in an automated car rely heavily on mapping with peripheral sensors to supply extra information. With the exception of land survey maps, we’ve only ever seen maps in 2 dimensions, from the top down. But Audi has slowly been working to develop elevation information as well which is added to the maps in order to produce a 3D-map that can be interpreted by the system.
In the hands of a human driver, the elevation data is used to maximise efficiency. The predictive efficiency assistant in cars like the new Q7 aim to optimise gearing for the gradient in order to produce the best possible fuel efficiency figure. But in the hands of a computer, it will be able to determine how highway ramp curve and how roads change in gradient and elevation in order to better prepare the powertrain
It’s an interesting future that we’re headed to. Again, not all of us are believers in piloted driving or leaving the car in the hands of a machine, but for the majority of car owners who are more commuters than anything else, this is definitely a development to keep an eye on.