At the peak of au­to­mo­tive in­no­va­tion

Car India - - CONTENTS - Story: Jim Gorde


The all-new next-gen­er­a­tion Audi A8 made its début in style, bring­ing in a slew of changes, en­hance­ments, and class-lead­ing au­ton­o­mous driv­ing tech­nol­ogy. With up­dated pow­er­trains mak­ing more power and con­sum­ing even lesser fuel, the A8, avail­able in stan­dard and long­wheel­base guises, brings more tech­nol­ogy to the fore than ever be­fore. Audi have strived to raise the bar in the premium lux­ury seg­ment and the new A8 and 130-mm longer A8 L are tes­ti­mony to that. The new sa­loon looks strik­ing, ex­em­pli­fy­ing Audi’s mod­ern de­sign lan­guage, pack­ag­ing un­der the skin even more rea­sons for it to be con­sid­ered a se­ri­ous chal­lenger for the very top step of the ex­clu­sive class.

Vis­ually, the HD Ma­trix LED light­ing and OLED tail-lamps look ab­so­lutely strik­ing. In­side, new finger­tip-re­sponse con­trols to­gether with new lev­els of lux­ury abound. The rear re­lax­ation seat, be­hind the front pas­sen­ger seat, gets a slew of com­fort ad­di­tions, in­clud­ing a foot-mas­sager. Mul­ti­ple set­tings are in­cor­po­rated into the back of the front pas­sen­ger seat.

Un­der the shapely bon­net lies one of five com­bus­tion en­gines: 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel and TFSI petrol six-cylin­der choices, 4.0-litre V8 TDI diesel and TFSI petrol eight-cylin­der choices, and a new 6.0-litre W12 TFSI turbo-petrol. All en­gines use a 48-volt elec­tri­cal sys­tem with a belt al­ter­na­tor starter, al­low­ing the car to coast with­out the en­gine in op­er­a­tion at all. Mild hy­brid and e-tron plug-in hy­brid ver­sions will be in­tro­duced at a later date.

What re­ally stands out is the car’s au­ton­o­mous driv­ing ca­pa­bil­ity. Pi­lot Driv­ing makes its début in the new A8: the first pro­duc­tion au­to­mo­bile to have been de­vel­oped spe­cially for highly au­to­mated driv­ing.


Audi AI stands for the con­cepts of au­ton­omy, in­tel­li­gence and in­no­va­tion, aimed at mak­ing oc­cu­pants’ lives eas­ier and jour­neys safer with the aid of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. Audi AI will also sug­gest ap­pro­pri­ate ser­vices af­ter adapt­ing to in­di­vid­ual needs, func­tion­ing more like a concierge.

In the new A8, the Audi AI traf­fic jam pi­lot takes charge of driv­ing in slow-mov­ing traf­fic at up to 60 km/h on high­ways where a phys­i­cal bar­rier sep­a­rates the two car­riage­ways. The sys­tem is ac­ti­vated us­ing the AI but­ton on the cen­tre con­sole. Dur­ing pi­loted driv­ing, a cen­tral driver as­sis­tance con­troller (zFAS) now per­ma­nently com­putes an im­age of the sur­round­ings by merg­ing the sen­sor data. As well as the radar sen­sors, a front cam­era and the ul­tra­sonic sen­sors, Audi are also the first car­mak­ers to use a laser scan­ner.

The Audi AI re­mote park­ing pi­lot and the Audi AI re­mote garage pi­lot au­tonomously steer the A8 into and out of a park­ing space or a garage while the ma­noeu­vre is mon­i­tored by the driver. The driver doesn’t have to be in­side the car; rather they just need to ini­ti­ate the ap­pro­pri­ate sys­tem from their smart­phone, us­ing the new myAudi app. To mon­i­tor the park­ing ma­noeu­vre, the Audi AI but­ton can be pressed to watch a live dis­play from the car’s 360° cam­eras on their de­vice.

25th Hour

The gift of time is what 25th Hour prom­ises. Audi want to pro­vide not just a safe and com­fort­able ride in their cars, but also take away the re­spon­si­bil­ity of driv­ing the car from the oc­cu­pant, al­low­ing them to be just that — oc­cu­pants. With driv­ing time turned into free time, there is a gen­uine pos­si­bil­ity of ac­com­plish­ing more in less time, and with the ad­vanced AI sys­tems in de­vel­op­ment, Audi hope to ac­com­plish just that. Of course, evolv­ing in­fra­struc­ture, such as the en­try of fifth-gen­er­a­tion (5G) data trans­fer rates, will be just as im­por­tant in mak­ing this vi­sion a re­al­ity.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Audi

( Far Left) Audi AI will be a marked de­vi­a­tion from con­ven­tion

( Left) Aero and sus­pen­sion bits sharpen these track-tools even more

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