Herndon, Virginia – Audi has launched a new research initiative, in conjunction with its Electronics Research Laboratory and four top U.S. universities, to develop technologies aimed at easing congestion, danger and inconveniences to drivers in large cities.

The new three-year initiative, Audi Urban Intelligent Assist, aims to take connected car, driver assistance and infrastructure electronics to a new level of providing detailed information, giving motorists a better sense of the driving conditions surrounding them. The vision is to develop Audi models that will recognize individual motorists behind the wheel, know preferred destinations, routes the motorists have most commonly travelled, and the time needed to reach appointments. The car will also be able to help the driver better detect and avoid dangerous situations.

The partners include the University of Southern California, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The Audi vehicles envisioned in the new project would work with a city’s connected infrastructure to, for example, reserve a parking spot near the driver’s desired destination and optimize the trip according to what is happening throughout the city.

Some of the research will include urban crash analysis, which will find crash “hot spots” in urban centres; historic and real-time urban data such as traffic, control information such as traffic lights, parking availability, urban events and other factors to allow predictions of what the city environment will look like in the next 15 to 60 minutes; determining what aspects of urban mobility stress and distract individual drivers; and the correct way to bring relevant information to the driver to minimize distraction, information overload and stress.

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