Audi has a nearly production ready book sized brain for self driving cars

Technology Review reports that Audi showed a book-sized circuit board computer at CES 2014 (Consumer Electronic Show) capable of driving a car could help the technology reach the mass market.

Audi claims the computer, called zFAS, represents a significant advance in automation technology because it is compact enough to fit into existing vehicles without compromising design.

Several different Audi vehicles equipped with zFAS drove themselves onto the stage during the presentation, and a new concept car designed to showcase it was also introduced.

The car, called the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight, is capable of what Ulrich calls “piloted driving” but betrays no outward sign of being different from a conventional vehicle.

“At CES one year ago, the trunk of the demo cars was still full of cables and electronics,” said Audi’s chief technical officer, Ulrich Hackenberg, about the company’s automated driving technology. “The prototype period is almost over. Now it’s time to get ready for serious production.

Long and mid-range radar systems, several video cameras, a laser scanner, and ultrasonic distance sensors on the front and sides of the car are all small enough to be hidden from view.

Hands free: The Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept car features compact sensor and computing technology that lets the car pilot itself.

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