The Audi A8 is currently in third generation. The fourth generation A8 will arrive in 2017 and will be the brand’s first production model to feature autonomous driving (Piloted Driving). The German automaker is actively involved in the Ko HAF “Cooperative Highly-Automated Driving” research initiative.
The motive behind of this initiative is to develop standards and technologies that enable cooperative autonomous driving in everyday road traffic. Vehicles that incorporate these technologies will be able to communicate between themselves using data from localised maps and environmental data offering optimised automated driving for smooth flowing traffic and enhanced road safety.
The company says that the technologies for autonomous driving “stand for safety, partnership, time-saving, efficiency and comfort”. The autonomous technology in the first phase, on the next-gen Audi A8, “will be able to take over the driving when parking or in stop-and-go traffic on the freeway up to 60 km/h (37.3 mph)”.
Audi has been carrying out estensive research on autonomous driving since recently. In October 2014 a driverless Audi RS 7 Sportback completed a lap of the Hockenheim Grand Prix Track at race speed. Furthermore an updated Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept in July 2015 completed a series of fast laps around the Sonoma Raceway in California.
Audi also conducted testing on public roads with the A7 piloted driving concept with a series of near-production technologies. The concept drove from Stanford in Silicon Valley via Bakersfield to Las Vegas to be showcased at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company claims that it has developed integrated strategies for piloted driving with cooperative behaviour, like merging into highway traffic for instance, playing a critical role in the development of piloted driving.
The project in addition to Audi will comprise of other manufacturers and suppliers including various universities. The Project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.
Refer the press release embedded below for complete details on Audi’s announcement.