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The New A8: Audi’s Addition to the Autonomous Car Market

The next generation Audi A8 is ready to become the first fully autonomous car when it becomes available to the public in 2017 – and the technology will be carried down into the new A7, A6 and Q8 when they are released later on. The fully autonomous function, disclosed to be known as Traffic Jam Assist, will run at up to 60km/h (about 37mph) in congested highway traffic and – unlike any system available right now – fully control the car without the need for input or monitoring from the driver.

Furthermore, a separate Park Assist function will be accessible and will park the car automatically even when the driver is not inside the car, as long as he controls it with the help of an app on his smartphone. A few car manufacturers offer comparable capabilities – BMW provides a remote-parking function in non-U.S. 7-series, and Tesla just added the ability to its cars, including in America. The next A8 will take after the current A6, A7, and A8 by allowing drivers to get their hands off the wheel at highway speeds for longer periods of time before notifying them to retake control.

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The next Audi A8 will have more aluminium in its body compared to its previous releases, as well as parts created from magnesium and carbonfibre. Nonetheless, it is still likely that it will have some additional kilos thanks to the autonomous technology and a proposed hybrid powertrain. The new 2017 Audi A8 is reported to be launched this summer, with sales beginning by the autumn. The German brand’s flagship A8 saloon is extremely famous for its lightweight construction – but engineers concede that giving in to customer demands is probably to result in a small gain in kerbweight for the new version. The car’s bare metal construction is approximately 50kg heavier than the structure of the A8 now.

The soon to be released Audi A8 will also have the Traffic Jam Pilot, which makes use of a central driver assistance controller, or zFAS, with NVIDIA hardware and software. This system will give drivers the choice to turn over steering, throttle, and braking functionality to the vehicle at speeds of up to 35 mph when specific conditions are satisfied, Audi officials have disclosed. At the center of the software are deep neural networks specifically designed for autonomous driving and determination of changing traffic control signs. The car first developed limited familiarity with the road and environment with a human driver behind the wheel, by means observation and the inclusions of training cameras – this produced a correlation between the driver’s reactions and what the cameras themselves observed.

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