There’s never only one reason for an accident. Rewind the narrative far enough and somehow the sesame bagel you had for breakfast last Thursday ultimately causes you to sideswipe that Lexus on I-90. So it goes for me on the day when the 2015 Audi RS 7 I’m testing saves me from myself.
Here’s how it happens: My contact lenses are bothering me all the time, so I decide to get evaluated for LASIK surgery. That means I have to wear glasses for two weeks. During this interval, a new house starts going up alongside a road I drive every day. One fine morning, doing about thirty miles per hour in the Audi, I take a gander at the construction—unaccustomed to glasses, I crank my whole head around to compensate for the lack of peripheral vision. The moment I do this, the guy in front of me realizes that the car in front of him is initiating a painfully slow right turn into a narrow driveway. He slams on his brakes.
And that’s your recipe for this particular collision: narrow driveway, slow right turn, new construction, impending LASIK exam, boom! Except, not. Because what happens is, the RS 7 goes into a full panic stop all on its own, without my foot anywhere near the pedal. Sure, I get on the brakes a moment later, but by that point the situation is handled. I’m just braking for self-esteem.
Audi calls its automatic braking system Pre Sense Plus with Braking Guard, and it uses radar sensors and a video camera to train unblinking eyes on the road ahead. I hadn’t meant to test it, but I can vouch that it works great. Later that day I drove past the spot, and there were two faint stripes of rubber from the RS 7’s soft snow tires, testament to the power of carbon-ceramic brakes. They’re still there, ghosts of an accident that never happened.