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Most Innovative Companies

Audi

Audi is a luxury car maker founded in Germany in 1910. It has been majority-owned by Volkswagen Group for over 50 years. Like many manufacturers faced with the macrotrend of fewer consumers buying cars, it has started to invest in the design of autonomous cars. But autonomous cars aren’t ready for prime time yet, and for the foreseeable future, cars will be both human-powered and self-driving, much in the same way that airplanes can be operated on autopilot or manually. Audi is pioneering the interaction design of this hybrid mode. In 2018, it is releasing the new A8, a sedan that takes over from drivers during traffic jams. A button on the center console tells the driver that self-driving can be engaged. Push that button, and the car takes over. Once the traffic jam is over, an inward-facing camera reads the driver’s affect and tells the car when to hand control back over to the driver. The system is a key step toward helping drivers understand what a car can do and how much it knows--laying an important foundation for further autonomous features.

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2018: Design
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headquarters: Ingolstadt‎, Germany
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