By Staff Writer

German carmaker Audi claims the new Audi A8’s artificial intelligence (AI) traffic jam pilot takes charge of driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 km/h on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates the two carriageways.

The carmaker says the system is activated using the AI button on the centre console.

The traffic jam pilot manages starting, accelerating, steering, and braking, said the company, adding that 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,” Audi said in a statement.

The introduction of the Audi AI traffic jam pilot means the statutory framework will need to be clarified in (South Africa), along with the country-specific definition of the application and testing of the system.

Furthermore, the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot autonomously steer the A8 into and out of a parking space or a garage, while the driver monitors the manoeuvre.

“The driver need not be sitting in the car. They start the appropriate system from their smartphone using the new myAudi app. To monitor the parking manoeuvre, they hold the Audi AI button pressed to watch a live display from the car’s 360-degree cameras on their device,” said Audi.

Audi A8 Colour: terragrey
Piloted driving functions to be rolled out in production Audi A8 versions from 2018 (Photo Credit: Audi)

Fingertip response: the controls

The driver controls the Infotainment system with fingertip control on the large display. They can use a second touchscreen display on the centre tunnel console to access the air conditioning and comfort functions as well as make text inputs.

“When the driver activates a function in the upper or lower display, they hear and feel a click by way of confirmation. The glass-look operating buttons respond in the same way. The combination of acoustic and tactile feedback along with the use of common touch gestures such as swiping make the new MMI touch response especially safe, intuitive and quick to use,” said Audi.

The A8 can also engage in intelligent conversation

The driver can activate an array of functions in the automobile using a new, natural form of voice control. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or is delivered from the cloud at LTE speed.

Audi A8 Colour: terragrey
Piloted driving functions to be rolled out in production Audi A8 versions from 2018 (Photo Credit: Audi)

The extensive Audi connect range also includes traffic sign recognition and hazard information – innovative car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.

The starting price for the A8 is about R1.4 million (€90,600), with the A8 L starting at about R1.5 million (€94,100).



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