New Audi A8 champions automated driving
THE fourth generation Audi A8 will be the first production car to have been developed with an array of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving technology.
The Audi AI traffic jam pilot, which forms part of a package of piloted features that will begin to be rolled out from 2018, takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37mph on major roads where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways.
When and where this technology becomes permitted, drivers will no longer need to monitor the car permanently, and will be able to take their hands off the steering wheel for prolonged periods and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV.
Its introduction, however, is wholly dependent on the clarification of the statutory framework in each individual country. In addition, a range of approval procedures and their corresponding timescales will need to be observed worldwide. Audi will therefore be adopting a step-by-step approach to the introduction of the traffic jam pilot in production models.
Other new features include the Audi AI parking pilot and the Audi AI garage pilot, which will autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver does not need to be sitting in the car – he or she can start the appropriate system from a smartphone using an Audi app.
Initially the new A8 will be offered with one diesel and one petrol engine – both six cylinder 3.0 litre units. Audi will eventually widen the engine range, with a 429bhp 4-litre V8 twin-turbo diesel and 6-litre W12. Prices start at £69,100 and deliveries commence in early 2018.
Vorsprung durch Technik to the next level . . . the new Audi A8 can drive and park itself