Level 3 autonomous Audi A8 will drive you through traffic jams


German automobile giant, Audi AG unveiled the latest version of the Audi series with enormous technological advances. The new Audi A8 has an inbuilt mild V6 turbo engine and comes with many other fascinating features. But one unique feature that sets this car apart is what Audi has termed ‘Traffic jam Pilot’- which is an upgrade on the Traffic jam Assist in the previous version.

This advanced capability is made possible through the incorporation of ultrasonic sensors, radars, multiple NVidia processors and laser scanners. As Audi’s sales boss, Dietmar Voggenreiter posited in a report released on Autonews, this innovation will certainly revolutionize mobility.

The traffic jam pilot imparts a level 3 autonomous capability on the car. As a result of this, the car will be able to move [with the possibility of attaining a speed of 37 mph] and apply brakes as it steers through heavy traffic. However, the employability of this feature is incumbent upon what the law permits in the jurisdiction in which the car is being driven. For instance, in a city like New York [where hands-free driving is forbidden], the feature might not be utilized.

Another twist to the automation of the new Audi A8 is that it has the capacity to force a stop. This is noticeable in a situation whereby the driver persistently ignores the alert requiring him to regain control of the steering. In such cases, the car turns on its hazard light and gradually comes to a halt; after which a call is placed to Audi emergency service. Nonetheless, some limitations are observable when the traffic jam pilot is in activation: the car cannot change lane or accelerate beyond 37 mph.

Although concerns have been raised over the safety of autonomous cars, Audi still holds its ground that, the technical inputs and the precautionary measures taken in building this car should quell all these concerns. Furthermore, the company has taken it upon itself to be responsible for any damage that might result from A8’s malfunctioning when the traffic jam pilot is in operation.

The car is set to be released to the market in September 2017.

Image By Steve Jurvetson (originally posted to Flickr as Autonomous TT) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons