German car maker promises all-new limo will feature automated driving.
AUDI has set a timeline for the introduction of its first driverless car, promising its next-generation A8 limousine due in 2016 will feature autonomous driving ability.
The German luxury brand revealed a new super computer for its car of the future that will allow it to bring automated driving into production within the next few years.
Called Z-fas, the 192-core processor is around the same size as an Apple iPad and yet has the same computing power as all of the modules in the current A4 and can handle up to 2.5 billion inputs per second.
Looking like an audio amplifier, it was fitted in the boot of a current A7 which drove itself onto the stage at Audi’s keynote address ahead of the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Audi says the computer has the ability to shrink rapidly as electronics continue to advance and that it is modular enough that all Audi vehicles in the future will feature some form of piloted driving.
Teamed-up with a suite of cameras, radars and advanced connectivity functions that are already in production, Audi R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg told Drive the “the technology is basically ready to go now”.
“But we are working on introducing it to premium cars with the next-generation A8, particularly the stop-and-go autonomous driving on the highways,” he added.
Hackenberg says the system has the ability to read traffic signals, can detect pedestrians and other objects and could easily be adapted to cope with urban situations, but admits there is more legal and physical infrastructure required to ensure it operates reliably in crowded situations.
The first application will be for the A8 to feature stop-and-go traffic jam assist, where at speeds up to 60km/h the car can brake, steer and accelerate completely by itself, even reacting cooperatively with vehicles moving in and out of the lane. When the traffic clears and the system reaches its maximum speed, it will alert the driver to take back control.
If the driver does not resume control within five seconds, the vehicle will lightly brake to a standstill with its hazard lights on.
The second function is a remote parking feature, where the driver uses a key fob to steer the vehicle in and out of tight parking spaces. SOURCE : Next Audi A8 to offer chauffeur mode