The self-driving Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving concept is the sports car of the future

Audi has traveled to the CES Asia show that is currently taking place in Shanghai, China, to introduce a new show car called R8 e-tron piloted driving concept.

When viewed from the outside, the piloted driving concept is all but identical to the R8 e-tron that Audi unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. A closer look, however, reveals the coupe is fitted with a long list of high-tech components including a new type of laser scanner, several video cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar sensors on both ends.

These work together to gather information about the car and, more importantly, its surroundings. The data is transferred to a central driver assistance control unit (zFAS in Audi-speak) that then controls the throttle, the brake pedal, and the steering. The self-driving system can be turned on and off at the simple push of a button.

Audi has not made any mechanical changes to the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept. The coupe is powered by two individual electric motors that send a total of 455 horsepower and 678 foot-pounds of torque to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission. The e-tron can reach 62 mph from a stop in 3.9 seconds and it goes on to a top speed of either 130 or 155 mph depending on which tires it is fitted with.

The motors get electricity from a high-voltage T-shaped battery pack with a capacity of 92 kWh. Thanks to recent advances in battery technology, the coupe offers a total driving range of 279 miles – about 14 more than a top-spec Tesla Model S – and the pack can be fully recharged in less than two hours.

Audi has previously confirmed the next generation of the range-topping A8 will be available with a self-driving system called Traffic Jam Pilot when it goes on sale in 2017. The technology will likely trickle down to other members of the Audi lineup including the R8.


Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.