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Audi pours out the technology at CES

Light bulb moment: Audi's Prologue concept previews a future styling trend as well as advances in technology such as its 505kW/950Nm hybrid powertrain, three-part touchscreen display and light-show interior.

Autonomous driving, alternative energy and connectivity tech from Audi at CES


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7 Jan 2015

AUDI has joined the growing list of car-makers to exhibit new gear at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where it is showing off a wide range of new-car technologies and the company's Prologue concept coupe.

The German car-maker is also using the North American event to offer a first look at the interior of its next-generation Q7 large SUV ahead of its official debut at the Detroit motor show next week.

Audi is not missing out on the autonomous driving systems action with a rigged A7 sedan that covered 901km without a driver.

The automated drive from Stanford, in California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, follows the company's milestone drive at the Hockenheim racing circuit where an autonomous RS7 completed a lap at race pace.

While the two journeys required sophisticated electronics and algorithms for a successful test, Audi says the sensors involved were “close to standard”.

With more marques coming to the driverless party, Audi predicts its first production model will arrive before the end of the decade.

In the meantime, regular cars continue to gain automatic features such as the systems Audi is exhibiting in the new Q7.

Its big SUV is equipped with Predictive Efficiency Assistant, adaptive cruise control and a congestion assistant that pilots the vehicle in stop-start traffic. Show-goers will also get a chance to see the Q7s new cockpit architecture that is likely to roll out in future Audi models.

Alternative energy systems will also get a look-in at the CES where the e-tron cordless charging system is on stage. The system allows special induction-loop equipped e-tron hybrid vehicles to top up without having to plug-in.

The technology could also be applied to pure electric vehicles, which Audi says are in the pipeline. More e-tron vehicles are also on the way with one new hybrid due to roll out at a rate of one a year.

Many of the future technologies could feature in Audi's Prologue if it becomes the A9 production models as speculated. Visitors to the Audi stage can see the concept's new styling direction, brightly lit interior and innovative three-piece touchscreen control interface.

No tech festival would be complete without lasers and Audi has delivered them in the headlights of its R8 LMX that can peer further into the night than regular LED and xenon lights with an effective range of more than 150 metres.

Fresh in-car entertainment and information technology is also on display from Audi with a fully digitised instrument display that will feature in the new TT.

The screen replaces conventional dials with a virtual needle that refreshes 60 times a second to provide the smooth movement of a mechanical version.

Other screen-based control systems feature a smartphone-like operating system to replace confusing menu trees.

Alongside the Q7 cockpit, Prologue and R8 LMX, Audi's TT Roadster and RS7 Sportback are also on display at the show, which runs until January 9.

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