Audi is all set to start testing automated vehicles in New York this June, recent reports indicate. The automated car testing will include sedans that have achieved the third level of automation. The car manufacturer is the first one to have acquired legal permission for testing automated vehicles on open roads in the state. The state of New York started receiving requests for testing licenses for automated sedans in May, having now allowed Audi to conduct its first autonomous testing in Albany.
Audi has conducted autonomous testing of vehicles before and is also the first company to have received an autonomous vehicle license plate in Nevada, as well as receiving comparable licenses in California. After California and Arizona, it is New York that attracted the attention of the car manufacturer. Audi is now set to test SAE Level 3 autonomous driving systems that will not only control vehicles but also monitor their overall surroundings. In case any fault is detected at any point during the test, the vehicles will yield control to a human driver.
Audi will be allowing vehicles to run at highway speeds depending on certain conditions. SAE Level 3, according to the Society of Engineers, are more autonomous than Level 0 and Level 1, and Level 2. At Level 0, vehicles give warnings to drivers as they are in danger of drifting or colliding with something. In case of Level 1 vehicles, which have Adaptive Cruise Control feature, a driver still has to control them to a major extent. On the other hand, Level 2 vehicles drive at highway speeds but remain under the control of the driver. Drivers are required to have their hands on the wheel during automation Level 2 vehicle testing. On the contrary, Level 4 and Level 5 vehicles are fully automated, though Audi has yet to detail its plans on commercializing such vehicles in the future. As the self-driving race is heating up, more vehicle manufacturers are expected to be granted testing licenses throughout the United States in the coming months. With some industry watchers predicting that autonomous cars will enjoy mainstream adoption in less than a decade, an update on the state of this emerging technology will likely follow soon.