New Audi A8 cham­pi­ons au­to­mated driv­ing

The Herald Magazine - - DRIVE -

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

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