Audi says its next-generation A8 due to launch this year will be the first production car capable of Level 3 autonomous driving.
The launch of the new A8 has been a long time coming and it was even delayed to allow more time to develop its self-driving tech. AutoNews says that the vehicle’s self-driving abilities will be so advanced that they may not be immediately available at launch because few road laws have been updated to permit such features on public streets.
A key difference between Audi’s Level 3 software and the Level 2 currently use by Tesla and Mercedes-Benz is that drivers of the new A8 will be allowed to take their eyes off the road and perform other activities while the car drives itself at speeds of less than 37 mph (60 km/h) in heavy congestion.
Although Audi is pursuing Level 3 automation, some automaker are mpt. In fact, both Ford and Volvo are pondering jumping straight from Level 2 autonomy to Level 4 where a vehicle can drive itself without human intervention in most driving conditions.
Audi’s system will consist of 12 ultrasonic sensors, laser scanners and a video camera. It will also use a camera to monitor the driver and will be able to pull over if it recognizes any health problems or episodes that the driver experiences.
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