Audi has unveiled its new A8, the first production automobile to permit conditional automated driving on public roads – dependent on legislature – at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt yesterday.
Conditional automated driving (level 3) is in line with the definition developed by the autonomous driving standardisation organisation, SAE International.
The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on highways and multi-lane roads with a physical barrier separating the two directions of traffic; it handles starting from a stop, accelerating, steering and braking in its lane, so drivers no longer have to continuously monitor the car.
When certain conditions are met, drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel for longer periods and can focus on another activities supported by the on-board infotainment system, depending on the legal situation in the respective country.
As soon as the system reaches its limits, the car will require manual driver control again and will prompt the driver accordingly.
During piloted driving, a central driver assistance controller (zFAS) now continually computes an image of the surroundings by merging the sensor data.
In addition to the radar sensors, a front camera and the ultrasonic sensors, Audi is the first car manufacturer also to use a laser scanner.
Due to different legal requirements in different countries, Audi will initiate series production of the traffic jam pilot in the new A8 incrementally.
Audi AI remote parking pilot and Audi AI remote garage pilot, which are started via smartphone from the myAudi app, autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is monitored by the driver, who does not need to be sitting in the car.
Upon completion of the parking maneuver, the system automatically sets the tiptronic to P and switches off the engine.
Meanwhile, the brand also premiered two concept vehicles – the Elaine and Aicon.
The Elaine is an electric-powered SUV which will make highly automated driving possible, at times even without a driver on board, while the Aicon is an autonomous vehicle with neither steering wheel nor pedals, and is also designed for purely electric operation, with a range of between 700km and 800km on a single charge.