NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- German-based automaker Audi gave government officials a test drive in its new autonomous car this week in Washington D.C. and CNBC went along for the ride.
"Jack is programmed to work on freeways and automated roads," Audi Senior Engineer Kaushik Raghu said in an interview aired on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Wednesday. Audi's A7-based piloted driving concept is called "Jack."
More than 20 sensors tell Jack if it is on a road where it can operate by itself, Raghu explained.
"The car lets me know the motor is available by one of several ways. There is an audio enunciation, there are some LEDs that light up on the dashboard directly in my field of view," he continued.
Once Raghu knows it is safe to let Jack take over, he pushes two buttons on the steering wheel simultaneously and the car operates on its own.
Audi's automated car looks like any other vehicle "you can go buy at a dealership," with all the wires hidden in the trunk, Raghu noted.
There is a lot of "hype" surrounding driver-less cars but people should not expect to completely let go of their wits and wheels until 2025 or beyond, according to Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh.
"The car you're seeing there, Jack, does not exist as a consumer product today and it's level three. Everything you are seeing or what most people are mentioning today have some sort of assist. It can brake, it can stop, it can only steer for limited amounts of time," Keogh stated on "Power Lunch."