Audi Tests Self-Driving Car in Florida Heat

Jul 29, 2014 05:57 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

Audi tested a self-driving car on a Tampa, Fl., highway on Sunday and Monday, declaring that the vehicle's autonomous technology should be available to consumers within five years.

The company demonstrated an Audi A7 that uses a system of sensors and cameras to start and stop automatically as well as to avoid other vehicles driving in front or to the side, PCMag.com reported.

The car stopped twice during the test run and only started again after a computer glitch was corrected.

Audi officials picked Florida specifically to test how the vehicle's autonomous technology would function in extreme heat.

"The ability to conduct research in the real-world conditions offered by Florida and the Expressway Authority is crucial to pre-production development," Audi said in a statement. "Because Florida created an environment that allows for the testing and development of autonomous technology, companies such as Audi have decided to bring research and development efforts to the Sunshine State."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who in 2012 signed a bill to allow testing of autonomous cars in the state, drove the Audi A7 as part of the recent test run.

"It was a great ride," he told the Tampa Tribune. "It starts and stops on its own. The distance between vehicles is tied to how fast you are going."

Predicted to reach $50 billion in the next decade, the self-driving car industry has become a race between automakers as well as major tech companies like Google.

A recent FBI report pointed out that autonomous vehicles could help police in the future but may also become weapons in the hands of criminals.

The agency predicts that autonomous vehicles will probably be approved by the federal government for everyday consumers in the next seven years, Forbes reported earlier this month.

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