Does Audi Have a Self-Driving Car?

While there’s no fully self-driving Audi, the German automakers are dreaming big with the Grandsphere concept.
Written by Sara Brody
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Audi hasn’t yet released a self-driving car, but their Grandsphere concept ambitiously envisions how the technology might one day look. And many current Audi models offer advanced driver assistance systems, perhaps paving the way for the Grandsphere concept to one day become a reality.
Self-driving cars are the way of the future, but they’re not yet a part of everyday life. How soon can we expect to be on cruise control, 24/7?
Some high-tech companies like Tesla have already pushed boundaries aspiring to create the world’s first fully self-driving car. Other automakers are more actively improving driver assistance technology that’s edging a lot of familiar models closer to automated status. 
Audi, too, has a vision for self-driving technology—and
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Does Audi have a self-driving car?

The short answer: not yet, but it’s on the bucket list, evidenced by the ambitious concept cars that Audi has launched.
In 2021, Audi introduced the Skysphere, an electric two-door roadster that would have an option for full automation. They expanded upon the concept with the Grandsphere, which reimagined how a car’s interior would look if there was no need for a human to drive it. With seats that recline like a first-class airline cabin and front-seat space designed like a lounge area, it’s easy to look at the mockups and imagine a luxurious future where cars drive themselves. 

How do self-driving cars work? 

Self-driving cars are seen as the future of transportation, and most people picture a vehicle that simply drives itself, with no need for a human to handle the controls. This is certainly an end goal of self-driving car enthusiasts, but technologically, we’re not quite there yet. A truly and fully automated car remains a bit too complex for modern engineering, but many automakers are making remarkable strides.
Self-driving cars utilize several technologies, including video cameras, LiDAR sensors, deep learning systems, and powerful algorithms. These tools allow them to monitor driving conditions, plan driving actions, and perform certain driving functions without direct input from humans. Essentially, the car uses data scanned from the environment to create a dynamic map to guide driving.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has offered six defined levels of autonomous vehicles (AVS): 
  • Level 0: No automation. The human driver is fully in control of all driving tasks at all times. 
  • Level 1: Driver assistance. The human remains in control of most driving tasks while driver assistance technology handles one task (e.g., steering, acceleration, or braking). 
  • Level 2: Partial automation. The driver must stay fully engaged with the vehicle, but two or more automated functions can operate simultaneously. 
  • Level 3: Conditional automation. Under certain conditions, the car can drive itself, but the driver must be ready to take back control at any moment. 
  • Level 4: High automation. The car can drive itself under certain conditions without needing a person to intervene. 
  • Level 5: Full automation. The car can drive itself under all conditions and doesn’t require human intervention. 
Level 5 self-driving cars are still years away, and the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
warns that fully autonomous vehicles may not prevent most of the crashes that take place on US roads and highways today
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The 10 best Audis with self-driving technology

As part of their vision for a new future of transportation, Audi is leading the way with driver assistance technology. Currently, Audi models come equipped with a pre sense® system, meaning they have sensors and cameras working in tandem to reduce the likelihood or severity of a major accident. The pre sense® system also includes forward-facing camera and radar systems to detect potential threats to your vehicle and initiate preventative measures.
Additionally, Audi offers advanced driver assistance systems in their current models. Included among these features are adaptive cruise assist, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, and the night vision assistant
Key Takeaway Although Audi has not yet released a fully self-driving car, its current models come equipped with powerful driver assistance features.  
Ready to see which Audis offer the best in driver assistance technology? Let’s look at a rundown.
Model
Vehicle type
Standard safety technology
Starting price
Mid-size sedan
$40,995
Sportsback
$44,995
Mid-size sedan
$56,995
Mid-size sedan
$70,295
Full-size sedan
$87,595
Sportsback
$67,095
Compact SUV
$37,595
Mid-size SUV
$45,095
Mid-size SUV
$58,695
Mid-size SUV
$71,995
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