Adding a new element to its soon-to-launch electric-powered R8 e-tron supercar, Audi unveiled a Piloted Driving variant this week in Shanghai, China at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show Asia. Although this one-off is a virtual clone of the built-to-order conventional R8 e-tron and packs the same 456-horsepower twin-motor setup, with a 280-mile per-charge range and the ability to sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds, the Piloted Driving package features an array of the latest autonomous technologies that were seen on the Audi RS 7 that hot lapped Germany's Hockenhiem F1 circuit on its own last fall at full racing speeds. 

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While Audi did not go into intricate detail on the setup in the new R8 e-tron Piloted Driving Concept, it did note that data is acquired from an array of precision elements. These include a new type of laser scanner along with multiple video cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors at both the front and rear of the vehicle. The real-time signals culled from these sources are then fed into the central driver assistance control unit (zFAS), the system's compact electronic mastermind that generates a comprehensive picture of the vehicle's environment and allows it to travel on its own with no human help. Although there are no plans at present to offer this new Piloted Driving package in the customer R8 e-tron, Audi will offer related  technologies "which will handle the task of driving in certain situations, at the request of the driver" in the next two years. The first of these vehicles will be the next-gen A8 Sedan due in 2017.

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