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2018 Audi A8 revealed boasting autonomous driving

The 2018 Audi A8 has been revealed at the Audi Summit in Barcelona boasting autonomous driving and “signals the beginning of a new design era for the entire brand”.

FOLLOWING FROM THE Audi Prologue Design Study, the new A8, says Audi, “signals the beginning of a new design era for the entire brand”. But the design of the new A8 isn’t the real headline grabber.

Rather it’s the fact that it’s the first Audi built with fully automated driving in mind. Indeed, from 2018 and the launch of the new A8, “Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production”.

While functionality will depend on the legislation in individual countries where the A8 is sold, the driver will only have to press the AI button on the centre console to access Audi’s traffic jam pilot.

The traffic jam pilot “takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 59km/h on major roads where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways.

“The traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering and braking. The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently. They can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV. As soon as the system reaches its limits, it calls on the driver to take back control of the task of driving.”

The system works via a series of radar sensors, a front camera and ultrasonic sensors. It also uses a laser scanner.

The A8 also debuts Audi’s remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot can autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the manoeuvre is monitored by the driver. The driver does not need to be sitting in the car – he or she can start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. It broadcasts a live feed of the parking manoeuvre taken from the car’s 360-degree cameras onto their smartphone.

Question: Are these sorts of autonomous technologies a good idea, or will they ultimately make life busier and more stressful with the working day starting as soon as you leave home?

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober