Audi claims new A8 will be the first fully autonomous car on sale. Next-gen A8, A7 and A6 will also feature artificial intelligence functions

The next-generation Audi A8 is set to be the first fully autonomous car when it goes on sale in 2017 - and the technology will filter down into the new A7, A6 and Q8 as they are subsequently launched.

The fully autonomous function, reported to be called Traffic Jam Assist, will operate at up to 60km/h (about 37mph) in congested motorway traffic and - unlike any system currently available - fully control the car without any input or monitoring from the driver. A separate Park Assist function will also be available and will park the car automatically with the driver outside of the car, controlling it via an app on their smartphone.

Audi is believed to have taken the decision that it is willing to take liability for any incidents when the car is in its self-driving mode, although the driver will still be responsible for the car in other semi-autonomous situations.

A new in-car screen system is believed to have been developed to clearly identify to the driver when the fully autonomous Traffic Jam Assist mode is operating, with Audi reportedly having worked with aviation experts to develop the visuals after it was discovered that most aircraft incidents are attributed to the pilot not realising what modes their planes were in.

The system will use a camera to monitor the driver continuously and is capable of pulling the car off the road and to a stop if necessary. Incidents that would trigger the fail-safe system include if a driver climbed out of the driver’s seat - as has happened on some semi-autonomous systems being trialled now by other manufacturers - or if the driver fell ill. “It can recognise health problems, try to alert the driver and - if they don’t respond - pull the car over and alert the emergency services,” said a source.

Intriguingly, Autocar has learned that the next-generation A8, A7 and A6, plus the new Q8, will feature a new Artificial Intelligence system that will be able to learn and predict owners’ behaviour. While details remain scarce, it is expected that one facet of it will be to learn regular destinations and then automatically input them in the sat-nav when it recognises the driver is heading towards them.

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Comments
7

13 July 2016
"...a new Artificial Intelligence system that will be able to learn and predict owners’ behaviour..."

Presumably meaning "...driving like driving like a complete dunderhead..." (profanity corrected). This Audi, after all.

By the way Mr Autocar proof reader, what is a "..sat-nab..."?

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

13 July 2016
"...a new Artificial Intelligence system that will be able to learn and predict owners’ behaviour..."

Presumably meaning "...driving like driving like a complete dunderhead..." (profanity corrected). This Audi, after all.

By the way Mr Autocar proof reader, what is a "..sat-nab..."?

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

13 July 2016
how are they going to advertise fully autonomous cars?

'The new Audi A8. A car you dont want to drive, now you wont have to'

13 July 2016
Autocar should stop regurgitating Audi press releases. If Audi think they will be releasing an AI in a car next year they are be.coming a sci-fi company or at least have Forgotten that Ironman (which features lots of Audis) is fantasy. True AI is decades away from being realised at places like MIT, Berkley, Cambridge etc. It is even further away from being put in a car. As for "Traffic Jam Assist" look at the options on the BMW 5 Series on sale since 2009. A very similar system. Not described as AI or "fully autonomous". Autocar - suckered by VW marketing. Again. And again. And......

13 July 2016
Learning sat-nab (sic) is nothing new the Latest S-Class and 7 Series plus many other cars already have it. Also given that even Tesla are realising that testing "autonomous" systems by using customers lives may not be the best strategy one might suppose Audi are hiding the fact that they have nothing new this year with silly press briefings.

14 July 2016
It should be more changes to the current model Audi A8. Is Audi still planning the A9?

15 July 2016
Are the DVLA going to set up two new departments?
One from autonomous vehicles that are applying for their own driving licences and another for people who can't be bothered to learn to drive but want to sit in their car and read or operate their mobile phone while the car steers itself (Oh, they already have that one!)

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