Autonomous Driving - Are You Ready?
If you are the slightest bit interested in cars you will have by now heard that autonomous driving is just around the corner. Yes, that’s right, we are quite literally getting to the stage where robots will be driving us around while we’re able to sit back and catch up on our latest Netflix series. Before we get to the ‘Total Recall’ stage though, we’ve got a few steps to take in terms of legalities and who’s responsible when the car is engaged. Audi’s latest A8 model is the closest step we have taken to driverless cars yet, and it’s a big leap indeed as it offers the first level of 3rd tier autonomous driving that we have seen.
Level 3 Autonomous Driving in the New Audi A8
Audi claim that their new A8 model will be the very first series of production car to offer Level 3 autonomous driving to customers. A level 3 autonomous car is said to be able to allow its driver to vacate the steering wheel completely whilst the car does all of work for you, this includes lane control on motorways and traffic jam stop-start driving. Of course, there are stipulations to all of this. Whenever the car goes over 37mph (60kmh) you’ll be required to take over control of the wheel. If the traffic remains below that you can sit back and relax, enjoy a film on Netflix, or at least you’ll be able to once the legislation allows you to. As always the technology here is racing ahead of the law. Behind all of this sophisticated self-driving are a tireless bunch of Audi’s smartest brains, an abundance of computing power and a suite of sensor beams that all together make it super easy to use. You will glide through traffic whilst the steering wheels dips and sways lightly allowing you to enjoy the A8’s new opulent cabin.
If you’re familiar with the A8 then you’re in for a shock. The interior is drastically different, in a good way though of course. The centre console is now overpowered by two huge digital screens, 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower dual-screen display. Operating the dual screen set-up is simple, the larger display, featuring haptic response, takes the care of most of the info and entertainment functions, while the one below it is dedicated to climate, ventilation and seat controls. It doubles as a touchpad input device, too. The immensely accommodating cabin has an impeccable fit and finish which comes as no real surprise from Audi’s standards. The digital touchscreen displays add a minimal design to whole operation which simplifies things for the better. There is a down side to this though as the screens tend to attract a lot of finger marks, but ignoring this small blip, as well as the topsy-turvy door handles the illustrious A8 interior is classier than ever.
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