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Audi's 2019 A8 Offers Highly-Automated Driving

July 13, 2017

Photo of 2019 A8 courtesy of Audi.
Photo of 2019 A8 courtesy of Audi.

Audi's 2019 A8 flagship sedan will offer Level 3 autonomous driving technology in a future called Traffic Jam Pilot that can take control of the vehicle in slow-moving traffic and control starting, accelerating, steering, and braking, Audi has announced.

The feature can take over driving at up to 37.3 mph on freeways and highways where a physical barrier separates lanes of opposing traffic. The feature allows a driver to take hands off the steering wheel and focus on a different activity such as watching on-board TV, according to Audi. The system can be activated using the AI button

When the system reaches its limits, the car alerts the driver to take back control of the task of driving.

The system uses a central driver assistance controller (zFAS) that computes an image of the surroundings by merging the sensor data. Other components include radar sensors, a front camera and ultrasonic sensors, and a laser scanner.

The 2019 A8 will also offer a remote parking pilot and remote garage pilot that allows the A8 to steer itself into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver activates the feature through a mobile app and can use the feature while inside or outside of the vehicle. The system sends a 360-degree image of the car to the smartphone.

Audi is planning to offer several powertrains with the A8, including a plug-in hybrid. Audi will offer a pair of gasoline and diesel models (in 3.0-liter V-6 and 4.0-liter V-8 configurations) in Europe. Audi will also offer an A8L W12 6.0-liter 12-cylinder model. The plug-in hybrid will pair an electric motor with the 3.0-liter TFSI V-6 that will produce 330 kilowatts (449 hp) of power and 516.3 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as 31.1 miles of electric driving range.

The 2019 A8 and A8L will arrive in the German market in late fall.

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