Audi Unveils Self-Driven A8, Will Big Carmakers Overtake Tesla's Autopilot?

Audi Unveils Self-Driven A8, Will Big Carmakers Overtake Tesla's Autopilot?

Audi Unveils Self-Driven A8, Will Big Carmakers Overtake Tesla's Autopilot?

Right after countless teasers on the internet, Audi has finally taken the wraps off its fourth-generation flagship A8 model at the Audi Summit in Barcelona.

By comparison, IHS expects deliveries of BMW's 7-Series to fall 7.6 percent to 52,238 cars by 2025 and deliveries of Mercedes' S-Class to jump 24 percent to 85,389 cars.

The new Audi A8 will also have an object detection system, which will scan the road ahead 18 times a second, and coordinate with the car's electronic chassis to work out how the suspension will handle the situation. The Audi AI Traffic Jam Pilot has the capability of moving the auto along autonomously while stuck in gridlock on the highway - without input from the driver. "Traffic jam pilot" manages starting, accelerating, braking and steering, and controls the vehicle in slower-moving traffic up to 37mph on carriageways or motorways with a physical barrier separating the traffic.

The system uses a combination of radar and ultrasonic sensors, as well as a front-facing camera and a laser scanner to monitor the car's surroundings during piloted driving.

With the demand for autonomous vehicles on the rise, it is evident that people trust automated driving more than manual driving.

The new system, which is planned for other future Audi models, manages the starting, accelerating, braking and steering functions. In conjunction with the air suspension fine-tuned for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an entirely new driving experience in this way. It's also big deal for the automaker and drivers that really need to update their Facebook status while commuting.

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So if you live in a state or country that allows Audi's flagship luxury sedan take care of the heavy lifting while you're commuting, count yourself lucky.

The driver will be able to watch TV on the car's infotainment system or read a book - although United Kingdom law change will be needed to allow it to operate here. The futuristic design will not only affect the exterior of the vehicle but it will also make its way to the interior as he confirms that the Audi A8 will come with barely any buttons and switches on the inside. Audi says that this latest-gen MMI system is safe, faster and more intuitive to use.

An e-tron plug0in hybrid variant of the Audi A8L will also be introduced at a later date.

Inside, the new Audi has a clean and contemporary dashboard, a redesigned multi-function steering wheel and touchscreen controls closely modelled on those first seen on the Prologue concept vehicle.

The likely big seller in the United Kingdom will be the 3.0 V6 TDI with 282bhp, but if you want more there's a 429bhp V8 diesel too as well as a 3.0 litre turbo V6 petrol with 335bhp. The 6.0-litre W12 version (presumably using a Bentley engine) arrives later. The lithium ion battery will hold enough power for 31 miles of pure electric driving.

The A8 also will provide cloud access, advanced navigation with 3D street mapping and other infotainment technology, which can be controlled by the sound of the driver's voice or through a pair of glossy touchscreens built into the sedan's center stack. In A8 L models the rear left passenger can be chauffeured in comfort on an adjustable seat, their feet warmed and massaged by a unit mounted into the rear of the front passenger seat. The said engines will be complemented with a mild hybrid system that will include a belt alternator starter motor.

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