The new A8, in its fourth generation as the brand’s flagship model, debuts a new Audi design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept, and a more electrified drive. But more significantly, it is also the first production car to have been developed for highly automated driving, claims Audi, with the first production use of a laser scanning or lidar sensor. Beginning next year, the company will gradually be metering out piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot, and traffic jam pilot into production.
The Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h (37 mph) on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two directions. With the highly automated Level 3 system, the car takes over the task of driving in certain situations. Unlike with the current state-of-the-art Level 2 systems on the road, A8 driver’s will no longer need to constantly monitor automated-driving systems, but they must be capable of taking back responsibility whenever those systems require intervention.