Self-Driving Audi R8 e-tron Supercar Debuts At CES Asia

If you're old enough to remember The Jetsons, a cartoon series that ran from 1962 to 1988, you probably thought we'd all be taking to the skies in flying cars by now. We're not there yet, but in place of flying cars, automakers and wealthy tech companies are testing out autonomous vehicles. Several prototypes already exist, including Audi's revised R8 E-Tron that broke cover at CES Asia.

The self-driving R8 E-Tron is also an electric vehicle, resulting in a marriage of two cutting edge technologies. Equipped with a T-shaped battery with a 92 kWh capacity and two electric motors, the R8 E-Tron delivers 456 horsepower and 679 pound-feet of torque. On the track, it can go from 0-62 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds without the aid of a driver.

Audi R8 E-Tron

It has an electronically governed top speed of 130.5 mph or 155.3 mph, depending on the car's tires. When traveling at a more sensible speed, the R8 E-Tron has an electric range of just under 280 miles, more than double the 133.6 miles of its predecessor that had a 49 kWh capacity battery. And when it does run out of juice, the large battery can be charged "in significantly less than two hours" as a result of an onboard Combined Charging System (CCS) that allows for charging with direct and alternating currents.

The car's ability to drive itself is the result of several sensors, including a new type of laser scanner, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors at the front and rear, an several video cameras. All of these communicate with a compact central computer to draw a comprehensive picture of the vehicle's surroundings.

It might be a while before you can buy one, as autonomous vehicles are still in the early stages of testing on public roads.