Audi A7. Photo: Audi

When I wasn't riding around in the back seat of AV test cars during my recent trip to Silicon Valley, I had the pleasure of driving myself in a 2019 Audi A7 quattro.

The big picture: The five-door coupe, outfitted with Audi's Prestige package and just about every other optional feature you could imagine, is elegant and even soothing to drive. Starting at $68,000, my top-of-the-line A7 had a price tag of $85,240.

Details: It's loaded with technology, including a new touch response system on the center console that lets drivers use natural handwriting to issue commands by writing letters or words with their finger.

  • As a lefty, though, the system was practically useless to me. I didn't have the dexterity to write letters with my right index finger so I opted to switch to the traditional keyboard input.

Driver assistance features abound, from adaptive cruise control to systems that will automatically brake or swerve to avoid collisions.

  • With up to 24 sensors, the car can even protect occupants when exiting the vehicle by warning them not to open the door if cars or bikes are approaching from behind. It can even delay the door handle release for a couple of seconds.

The bottom line: That's what I call an intelligent vehicle.

Go deeper

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.

GM's high-stakes electric move

The Cadillac Lyriq. Image courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac on Thursday unveiled the Lyriq, the luxury brand's first all-electric model and GM's first consumer electric vehicle unveil since the Chevy Bolt several years ago.

Why it matters: It's the first reveal by GM of an electric vehicle that will use the company's new modular platform and Ultium battery system — technologies meant to underpin the 20 electric vehicles that GM plans to launch by 2023.