Horizon Robotics assisted Audi to receive its first test license for autonomous driving on public roads and city highways in China
On September 14, Audi received its first test license for autonomous driving (level 4) on public roads and city highways in Wuxi. Up to now, the three premium brands （Audi, BMW and Daimler）in Germany all have received test licenses for autonomous driving in China. In May and in July respectively, BMW and Daimler were the first international automaker to get this license in Shanghai and Beijing. Audi has closely cooperated with the local partner Horizon Robotics to equip licensed test cars with hardware and software for autonomous driving. Because Wuxi boasts a large public road network with connected infrastructure, the Audi China Research and Development Center will launch an additional development and testing center in Wuxi in the first quarter of 201.
Audi expands its engagement in Wuxi, the model city for connected traffic in eastern China. As part of the “World Internet of Things Exposition”, the brand with the Four Rings is demonstrating intelligently connected driving in a predevelopment project from September 14th-18th. In several use cases, information exchange between cars, infrastructure, and pedestrians, based on the new mobile communications generation LTE-V2X, optimizes safety as well as driving comfort and traffic flow. In addition, this Friday, Audi received its first test license for autonomous driving (level 4) on public roads and city highways in Wuxi. Audi China Research and Development wants to accompany this long-term project in the best possible way and is opening another development and testing hub in Wuxi.
In the second phase of the research project in Wuxi, Audi achieved another milestone in connected traffic. For the first time, Audi driver assistance systems respond to connected road users and infrastructure: depending on the traffic light phases and the behavior of road users, the car automatically adapts its speed or activates the warning flashlight system in a hazardous situation. The communication between the cars and the infrastructure is based on the latest LTE-V2X network generation, which enables real-time data transmission.
Together with partners Huawei, China Mobile and the Wuxi traffic police, Audi is testing and demonstrating 15 different “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X) functions. The results of these tests are an important basis for autonomous driving worldwide. “Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure functions expand the technological base enabling us to offer autonomous driving in China in the future,” says Alexander Pesch, Head of Automated Driving, Audi China.
The evaluations of the test data are used by Audi in another major project: Local authorities today gave the company the test license for autonomous driving on public roads and city highways in Wuxi. Thus, the brand is the first international manufacturer to send autonomous Level 4 test vehicles to the road in the model region.
“As the smart city of tomorrow, Wuxi offers us optimal conditions — for example, a large public road network with connected infrastructure,” says Saad Metz, Head of Technical Development Audi China. “Together with our local high-tech development partners, we take the next step towards self-driving cars and adapt them to local requirements.” For this purpose, Audi is also working closely with the local partner Horizon Robotics. Together, the two companies have equipped licensed test cars with hardware and software for autonomous driving.
The Audi China Research and Development Center will launch an additional development and testing center in Wuxi in the first quarter of 2019. In the long term, around 150 employees will support the tests for autonomous and connected driving on site.