Audi takes another step toward self-driving cars with its redesigned 2018 Audi A8. Flagship of this German brand, the next A8 was engineered specifically as an autonomous-technology platform. At its introduction at the Audi Summit in Barcelona in early July, Audi revealed its new styling direction (which will spread across the lineup), a new user interface and freshened engines, as well as announcing that a suite of pilot driving systems will aid A8 drivers beginning in 2018.
Although the next A8 can be updated with future autonomous systems, Audi lists three primary Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the new pilot-driving A8: traffic jam pilot, parking pilot and garage pilot. All promote the advance toward self-driving cars.
Managing starting, accelerating, steering and braking, Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 37 miles per hour on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two opposing lanes. The system is activated using the AI button on the center console.
Autonomously steering the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot can be controlled through the driver’s smartphone without the driver even being in the car. Using the new myAudi app, drivers can monitor the maneuver by holding the Audi AI button on the smartphone. A live display from the car’s 360-degree cameras appears on their device.
The pilot-driving systems are just of the tip of the iceberg of A8 technologies, contributing to the development of self-driving cars.