Audi extends piloted driving lead at Sonoma Raceway as production nears

Piloted driving at Audi achieves new levels of racing speed on the road to series production of the technology in a few years. On one of the most demanding circuits in the world, Sonoma Raceway in California, the latest generation of the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept has exceeded the previous top performances again. Audi will offer piloted driving first in the next generation of the Audi A8.

"In Sonoma we brought the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept lap after lap to the physical limit, and in constant precision," said Thomas Müller, Head of Development for Braking, Steering and Driver Assistance Systems, AUDI AG. "The car reached lap times that were better than those of some experienced sport riders." The RS 7 prototype required only 2:01.01 minutes to set its best lap time at the 2.5-mile course.

AUDI AG: for the first time, over 900,000 customers in the first half of the year

Compared with the same period last year, AUDI AG’s worldwide sales from January to June increased by 3.8 percent to around 902,400 cars. For the first time in the company’s history, more than 900,000 customers had already chosen the brand with the four rings by mid-year.

Even though important model changes are imminent in a number of markets, sales climbed further in all world regions – particularly on the American continent (+12.4%).

Audi sets 54th consecutive monthly U.S. sales record in June 2015

Audi reported that its June 2015 sales increased 8.3% to 18,262 vehicles, a total that stands as the third-best monthly result ever in the U.S. market.

The A3 model line achieved record sales, with a 42% increase over the previous June. SUVs also saw strong demand, with an overall increase of 24.1%.

“Audi is seeing stronger demand than ever before,” said Mark Del Rosso, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Audi of America.

Mission to the moon: AUDI AG supports the Google Lunar XPRIZE

Audi is taking off for the moon – along with the Part-Time Scientists. Nearly 45 years after NASA’s Apollo 17 completed the last manned mission to the moon, the cooperating partners have selected the old landing site of Apollo 17 as the new target.

“The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating,” said Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how.”

AUDI AG: Sales in the Americas increased 11 percent in May

At around 153,850 cars, Audi’s worldwide deliveries in May were slightly above the figures from the same month last year (+1.2%). In the Americas, sales of the four rings continued to increase sharply, up 11.1 percent to around 24,500 vehicles.

In the United States, the world’s largest SUV market, the Audi Q3, Q5 and Q7 achieved combined growth of just under 37 percent in May. Across all models, the U.S. sales figures of the Ingolstadt company grew by 11.0 percent to 18,428 units. As such, Audi achieved its second-best monthly result in company history in the United States. Audi deliveries have climbed by 11.7 percent in the market since January.

Piloted Driving: the Future of Cars

The global auto industry is moving rapidly toward an era when drivers won’t be required for driving. Economists, policymakers and auto executives believe “driverless” cars will dramatically improve transportation safety and significantly cut emissions. Within several years, car owners are expected to have the option to turn over control of their vehicle to an internal pilot, thanks to advances across digital technologies that are being perfected and harnessed continually by Audi and other automakers, as well as by tech companies including Google.

The biggest hindrance to this scenario will not stem from any limitations in autonomous-driving technologies but rather from legal, political, infrastructure, regulatory and liability factors that all need to be addressed as the developed world makes the most significant switch in its automotive paradigm in over a century.