Next A8 to drive itself
Audi is taking part in the 'kooperative hochautomatisierte Fahren' - Ko-HAF, which stands for Co-operative Highly-Automated Driving - and has announced that the next-generation A8 will have some form of autonomous control.
The aim of Ko-HAF is to develop the infrastructure and technology required to allow cars to drive autonomously or semi-autonomously in everyday traffic conditions and Audi, along with other German car manufacturers, suppliers and universities, is taking part in the project.
Audi's work has revolved around the development of precise street models as the basis for digital maps; pinpointing the exact position of cars on said digital maps, using data from on-board sensors; safety overrides for the driver to take control if required; highly automated reactions to sudden disruptions in traffic; and anticipatory automated driving, to ease traffic flow.
Audi says it will introduce these technologies to its series production cars on the next-generation A8 and in this first phase the systems will be able to assume driving control when parking or running in stop-and-go traffic on the motorway at speeds up to 60km/h.
As you're probably well aware, Audi has a previous in the 'driverless' car field. Its RS 7 Sportback demonstrator lapped the Hockenheim GP circuit at race pace in October 2014, before a development of that car completed a series of fast laps at the Sonoma Raceway in California in July this year. Audi has also trialled a piloted driving concept car on public roads, both in California and Shanghai.
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