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    CES 2013: Audi Gets Its Nevada Autonomous License

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      Audi becomes the first automaker to get a license to operate autonomous vehicles in Nevada.


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    January 8, 2013

    Eight months after Google became the first company to be licensed by the state of Nevada to test autonomous vehicles on public roads, Audi becomes the first automaker to be licensed.

    The German automaker is no stranger to autonomous vehicles. In 2010, a specially-built TTS took on the Pikes Peak Climb, finishing the course in 27 minutes.

    Audi will use its license to continue developing and refining its autonomous system, which the automaker equates to auto-pilot system on a plane. Audi's vision for the system would have the driver allowing the vehicle to perform mundane tasks like stop-and-go traffic and parking, while still letting the driver have control when needed.

    Source: Audi

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Nevada grants Audi the first automaker permit to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads

    • Audi gets second-ever license from the state to test Audi piloted driving

    • Audi piloted driving and parking technology will be a focus at 2013 CES

    • Audi has been an autonomous driving pioneer through work by its Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University

    The State of Nevada issued to Audi only the second license allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads. This makes Audi the first automotive original equipment manufacturer to obtain this special permit. The first license went to technology giant Google.

    Audi has been at the forefront of autonomous driving research. Among the early highlights was the 2010 achievement of the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak research car on the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb course in Colorado. That Audi research car, developed jointly by the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University, autonomously completed the 156-turn, 12.42-mile Pikes Peak circuit in just 27 minutes.

    Today, Audi defines autonomous driving capabilities in terms of piloted parking and piloted driving. The term "piloted" is used advisedly, as Audi envisions motorists enjoying the convenience of allowing the car to handle mundane stop-and-go driving conditions, for example, while still being able to take control of the car when needed. In this way, the technology is similar to auto-pilot systems found on jetliners. Likewise, autonomous, or piloted parking, would let future Audi models park safely without a driver at the wheel in in tight parking spaces.

    Audi will provide updates on strategies involving its Audi piloted driving and piloted parking technologies at the Audi booth during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 8-11, 2013.

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    While I personally will not want or waste my money on a self driving car at this stage of my life, we do need them.

    I have become so frusterated with morons who cannot stay to the left except when passing, drive 45 in the far left lane of a 60 zone and then ignor you when you flash them to move over for going slow.

    Good luck, I hope you come to market sooner rather than later to help out with the idiots who should not be driving.

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      My personal favorite part: It’s performance facts time!
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      View full article
    • By Anthony Fongaro
      Germany. Known for impeccable engineering, German vehicles usually have cutting-edge technology and are status symbols. Sweden. The Swedish are known for safety, and even though the only brand from Sweden is Volvo, they want to have a sleek design while making vehicles easy to drive. South Korea. In my opinion, South Korea is doing a great job with their vehicles. Creating Genesis as a stand-alone brand was genius because they can have vehicles close to or competing with the Germans while costing thousands of dollars less.
      What vehicles did I choose from these three countries? First, we have the Genesis G70. The particular G70 I am talking about is the G70 3.3T. It can compete directly with the Germans in terms of performance and safety features. Next, we have the Volvo S60 T6. It ties the Audi S5 Sportback in terms of exterior and interior looks and follows the tradition of being a Swedish car that focuses on safety which a hint of performance. The powertrain may be a little odd, but I’ll discuss engines and performance later. The black sheep here is a used Audi S5 Sportback? Why this car and not an S4? Simple, the S4 is too plain. The S5 Sportback is a good-looking car with performance similar to the Genesis, but a new one’s cost puts it in a different bracket.
      There is a reason why I’m using these vehicles. Price and performance. First, price. Options I look for such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, digital displays, all-wheel-drive, and heated/ventilated seats push up the prices for these three from $50,000-$53,000. Although the G70 and Volvo can be bought for around $40,000, a few options bump their prices up. Let’s dive into what I recommend for each car.
      Not a surprise, the Genesis G70 comes in at $50,000. You can get a Sport Package, but I would go with the Prestige Package because it has a heads-up display, surround-view monitoring that makes parking easy, and advanced safety features with a feature to not his pedestrians. That last feature is very helpful in a city like Chicago with Chicagoans crossing the street anywhere. 
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      A brand spanking new Audi S5 Sportback starts at $52,000 and it being German, the options are expensive and expansive. Although I would recommend the Premium Plus, if you want a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and parking assist, you must go for the $59,000 Prestige. You can get a Black optic package that changes some of the exterior trim to black, hence the name. Ventilated seats cost $550 with the Warm weather package and a heated steering wheel is $750 in the Cold weather package. Final cost: $63,000, over $10,000 more than the Genesis and Volvo. 
      Now for the nerd talk of performance and driving dynamics so if you really don’t care, just go to the last sentence in this paragraph. We have the most powerful car, the Genesis G70, with a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6. Stats: 365 HP and 376-pound feet of torque. 0-60: 4.5 seconds. Next, the Volvo T6. The T6 uses a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline 4. Stats: 316 HP and 295-pound feet of torque. 0-60: 5.9 seconds. Finally, the Audi S5 Sportback. Under the hood is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.  349 HP and 369-pound feet of torque. 0-60: 4.5 seconds. What does this mean? Two cars are fast, and one car isn’t. There we go.
      All vehicles have a sports feature that can change the noise of the engine inside, change how the steering feels, and how much more the engine will rev. If you’re into engine and exhaust noise, the Genesis is king. It is also the most powerful and feels the sportiest when going around a bend or going onto an on-ramp or wolfram. The Volvo has the worst sounding engine and there is a lot of lag because of the unusual engine. Volvo only uses 2.0-liter engines and it really hurts in terms of performance and it is more about cruising than going on twisty curves. Audi’s S5 Sportback is like the G70 in terms of engine noise and performance. Both are quick with V6 engines. In the Audi, the engine sounds good, but the steering feels disconnected. It handles alright but doesn’t feel special.

      Interior and infotainment systems are where the Genesis fall behind. The interior does feel luxurious, but the Volvo crushes it. A small infotainment system does it no justice. Volvo’s interior is gorgeous, but the infotainment system does something I hate: it controls almost everything. Why can’t there be regular controls for the climate control? Audi uses digital dials which are simply amazing and it has the best infotainment system. 
      Now we get to what the title implies: Who should get which car?
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      Volvo S60 T6: Simply put, this isn’t a sports sedan. Instead, it is a great long-distance cruiser with so many safety features it can almost drive itself. It has the best looking exterior and interior, but the infotainment system and droning engine let it down. Volvo is doing an amazing job creating beautiful looking vehicles, but I wish they didn’t only use 2.0-liter engines. 7/10
      Audi S5 Sportback: New, it’s the most expensive but as a used car, you can get one for a little over $50,000 with around 30,000 miles. Why get this? Because it’s all about that badge, baby! It does have a great interior and the best infotainment system. It ties the Volvo for a beautiful exterior as well. If you can find one as a certified pre-owned vehicle or CPO, you can save about $10,000. 8/10

      My personal favorite part: It’s performance facts time!
      Genesis G70 3.3T: Turbocharged 3.3-liter V6. Stats: 365 HP and 376-pound feet of torque. 0-60: 4.5 seconds.
      Volvo T6: Turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter incline 4. Stats: 316 HP and 295-pound feet of torque. 0-60: 5.9 seconds.
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