Audi has announced they will be the first brand to receive California’s new autonomous driving permit as the state opened the door for them this week.

While nothing new to Europe where Audi self driving cars have already been tested for some time, the research moves to California in addition to other states where it’s now allowed.

The goal of Audi’s research is to help develop an automated piloted driving system for freeway traffic, and in California this is one of the hotbeds for such a solution.

Getting permission to test on California’s roads was especially important as the state is home Audi’s Electronics Research Lab where much of this work is done.

While known as a driver’s brand, Audi has been one of the companies on the forefront of automated driving from its earliest stages.

Their accomplishments to date include the Audi TTS Pikes Peak car that completed the 12 mile Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racecourse in 27 minutes without a human behind the wheel.

Audi says the technology could be ready for consumers within five years. I don’t know about you but this still makes me a bit nervous.