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Audi R8 e-tron is the self-driving electric supercar of the future

As if Audi’s R8 e-tron wasn’t already cool enough, the German automaker has kitted out the electric supercar with autonomous driving tech.

The hi-tech concept motor was unveiled only this week, showing off Audi’s vision of the future of driving at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia.

It’s the company’s third autonomous concept vehicle (after the RS7 and A7), but this concept status means it may never actually come to market.

So how does the self-driving work? The R8 draws in data from a wide-array of sensors – a new type of laser scanner, video cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar.

The compact on-board computer then uses the signals from these sources to work out a comprehensive picture of the R8’s surrounding environment. And hopefully avoiding an untimely vehicular demise in the process.

The Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving represents the technology trends of our industry,” said Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO.

Related: Project Cars review

The design of the car is based on the multi-material Space Frame that we’ve already seen on the new production Audi R8. That is to say, it’s probably the sexiest self-driving car we’ve seen so far.

However, Audi has also made some spec improvements with the self-driving version of the e-tron, improving the battery capacity from 49kWh to around 92kWh.

This means the car offers an electric range of 279.6 miles (450km). That’s up from a previous 133.6 miles (215km).

Audi also claims that the car can be fully charged in under two hours. This is thanks to the Combined Charging System, which allows charging with both direct and alternating current.

It’s formidable on the track too, offering a 0-60 of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph (250kmh). Although we doubt you’ll be rocking out at top speed on piloted driving mode any time soon.

Would you feel safe kicking back on an iPad while your Audi races along the motorway? Let us know in the comments.

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