The next-gen­er­a­tion Audi A8 is the world’s first pro­duc­tion Level 3 au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle. Yet, there’s so much more to it

Car India - - CONTENTS -

Every­one’s do­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol and au­ton­o­mous brak­ing — that’s so 2009. How­ever, when you can get your hands off the wheel, let your car de­cide the best route, and get your feet mas­saged (in the back seat, of course) you know you’re in some­thing that’s next level.

The all-new D5-gen­er­a­tion A8 raises the bar in In­gol­stadt for styling and flam­boy­ance. More pro­nounced lines, sharper creases, and bolder el­e­ments all make the new lux­ury limou­sine a se­ri­ous con­tender in the ever-evolv­ing premium limo arena.

With a range of up­dated pow­er­trains, a re-imag­ined in­te­rior, com­fort and con­ve­nience fea­tures like never be­fore, and even pi­loted drive as­sist, the new A8 needs more than a few para­graphs to let you know what it’s about. You may read more about it on page 180 of this very is­sue.

For starters, the head­lamps are HD Ma­trix LED units, con­sist­ing of 138 in­di­vid­ual diodes, 32 of which are for the high-beam to­gether with one high-per­for­mance laser unit that gets ac­ti­vated post 70 km/h to double beam range. The OLED tail-lamps, which use 135 in­di­vid­ual diodes, look strik­ing while pro­duc­ing a much sharper light sig­na­ture.

In­side is where the ben­e­fits of the longer body truly lie. The lounge-like de­sign is com­ple­mented by an op­tional re­lax­ation seat, which adopts the seat be­hind the front pas­sen­ger seat, which holds the con­trols, and has four ad­just­ments and a foot-rest, which also in­cor­po­rates a warm­ing and mas­sage func­tion. Rear oc­cu­pants also get HD Ma­trix read­ing lights and an OLED - dis­play re­mote con­trol for var­i­ous func­tions.

Finger­tip re­sponse is what de­fines the na­ture of the con­trols. A large 10.1-inch touch­screen folds out and ac­com­pa­nies a sec­ond touch­screen that dis­plays, on the cen­tre con­sole, con­trols for the cli­mate, com­fort fea­tures, and even text in­puts. A self-learn­ing nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem is also present, mem­o­ris­ing com­monly used routes. Voice con­trol, car-to-X ser­vices, traf­fic sign and haz­ard recog­ni­tion, among other now stan­dard ad­vanced safety fea­tures, are all on the list.

Pow­er­train choices in­clude diesel, petrol, and, in the near fu­ture, hy­brid as well. All of them use a 48-volt elec­tri­cal sys­tem with a belt al­ter­na­tor starter. This not only means more ad­vanced elec­tron­ics and sup­port sys­tems, such as the Dy­namic All-wheel Steer­ing and Elec­tronic Sus­pen­sion Plat­form, but more fuel sav­ing, with the car be­ing able to coast with­out the en­gine in op­er­a­tion.

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