Self-Driving Car Kit (Sort Of) for Just $10K

#Driving

Tue, Jun 24th, 2014 13:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Verge reports that if you happen to own a 2012 or newer A4 or S4 and you also live in California, the vehicle can be outfitted with a $10,000 kit called the RP-1 that kind of makes your car self-driving.

"This is a little different than what you've seen from Google, for example, because that's like a $100,000 research car, with tons of fancy sensors," Cruise's CEO Kyle Vogt tells me as the Audi S4 we're in begins its first of two laps around a course that's been set up on the abandoned runway. "Everything on this car is priced for a consumer product. It's, like, very low-cost everything, and the performance is still very good."

Cruise's plan involves a $10,000 kit called the RP-1 that can be installed on just two specific Audi models — a 2012 or newer A4 or S4 — and only be used in California. It's a mix of a custom-designed sensors that are mounted to the top of your car; actuators for the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator; as well as a computer system that's installed into the trunk that's processing data from the sensors and piping it back to the wheel. Together, with a special button that goes into the center console, the vehicle can be switched between human and computer at a moment's notice.

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