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Audi tests autonomous driving and connected infrastructure in China

As part of the “World Internet of Things Exposition”, Audi demonstrated intelligently connected driving in a predevelopment project.

In several use cases, an information exchange between cars, infrastructure and pedestrians, based on the new mobile communications generation LTE-V2X, optimises safety as well as driving comfort and traffic flow. In addition, Audi received its first test license for autonomous driving (level 4) on public roads in Wuxi. Audi China Research and Development is opening another development and testing hub in Wuxi.

In the second phase of the research project in Wuxi, Audi achieved a new milestone in connected traffic. For the first time, Audi driver assistance systems responded to connected road users and infrastructure. Depending on the traffic light phases and the behavior of road users, the car automatically adapts its speed or activates the warning flash light system in a hazardous situation. The communication between the cars and the infrastructure is based on the latest LTE-V2X network generation, which enables real-time data transmission.

Together with partners Huawei, China Mobile and the Wuxi traffic police, Audi tested and demonstrated 15 different “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X) functions. The results of these tests are an important basis for autonomous driving worldwide. “Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure functions expand the technological base enabling us to offer autonomous driving in China in the future,” says Alexander Pesch, Director of Automated Driving, Audi China.

The evaluations of the test data are being used by Audi in another major project, local authorities gave the company the test license for autonomous driving on public roads in Wuxi. Thus, the brand is the first international manufacturer to send autonomous Level 4 test vehicles to the road in the model region.

“As the smart city of tomorrow, Wuxi offers us optimal conditions – for example, a large public road network with connected infrastructure,” says Saad Metz, Head of Technical Development Audi China. “Together with our local high-tech development partners, we take the next step towards self-driving cars and adapt them to local requirements.”

For this purpose, Audi is also working closely with the local partner Horizon Robotics. Together, the two companies have equipped the licensed test cars with hardware and software for autonomous driving.

The Audi China Research and Development Centre will launch an additional development and testing centre in Wuxi in the first quarter of 2019. In the long term, around 150 employees will support the tests for autonomous and connected driving on site.

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