Tonight saw Audi's pre-first-day CES keynote presentation, and this year's theme was iteration. Audi wouldn't tell you that was what the theme was — with them it's all "Vorsprung Durch Technik" (that's Advancement Through Technology) — but what Audi introduced was evolutions of announcements from preceding years.
Last year Audi rolled out an A8 sedan onto the stage, or more accurately the A7 rolled itself out. It was an early demo of driverless technology that didn't depend on an array of sensors and scanners mounted to the roof. What wasn't shown off at CES 2013 was the trunk of that car, which was packed with computer boxes to manage all of the millions of inputs per second that it was receiving from the sensors distributed around the car. This year, Audi drove out, err, had drive itself out, an A7, sans driver or passengers. But what made this year's demo different from last years was the consolidation and miniaturization of the computing platform that made the self-driving possible. Or, as Audi likes to call it, piloted driving.