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How New Cars Are Emphasizing Technology As A Primary Feature

Posted by admin on Aug 14, 2017

Today’s new cars are all about technology and this is especially true of luxury vehicles. Audi just introduced the new 2019 Audi A8, its flagship fourth generation luxury sedan that features a Level 3 automated driving system. With just the touch of a button, the Audi A8 can drive itself when certain conditions are met. If and when those conditions change, the driver will receive an alert that his or her intervention is required within 10 seconds.

Audi’s stated goal is ultimately to reach a fully autonomous vehicle. However, the Audi A8’s system, nicknamed “Audi Piloted Driving,” is only effective at speeds up to slightly over 37 miles per hour.

The Great Legality Debate

Such self-driving cars, “piloted” by humans, are being debated worldwide, including in the United States. As reported in Reuters, a U.S. House Panel recently passed a bipartisan measure calling for the deployment of up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles without their having to meet current safety standards. It also bars states from imposing driverless car rules. The full House will debate the proposed bill when it reconvenes in September.

Depending on the outcome of this bill, such systems as Audi’s Piloted Driving may or may not be available to consumers throughout the U.S. Individual states currently have the right to set guidelines for automated and autonomous vehicles. Nevertheless, experts predict that driverless vehicles are the next major automotive frontier.

Audi’s Control System Changes

Audi has replaced its MMI controller knob with a new touchscreen. Online automotive information resources such as Edmunds are withholding judgment on the new control system until actually driving the car. Edmunds admits to preferring knob-based systems, but says Audi’s touchscreen “shows promise” due to its large configurable buttons and its confirmation of each touch with a simulated click. They warn that a driver will need to push fairly hard on the touchscreen in order to trigger a function. However, they also theorize that this will prevent accidental screen brushings from resulting in inadvertent commands.

Audi’s Additional Technology

The Audi A8 relies on existing technology for its four-wheel steering system. When activated, the driver can tell the car to park or unpark itself without having to physically be in the car. This steering system also increases maneuverability at all speeds.

The A8’s advanced active suspension functions similarly to that of Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Body Control. A laser scans the road ahead, adjusting each wheel to any road imperfection. Theoretically, driver and passenger discomfort caused by potholes and bumps is a thing of the past. The car simply glides over them.

Not all new cars can claim such technological innovations as Audi or Mercedes-Benz. Nevertheless, all car manufacturers appear to be dedicated to the proposition that emphasizing technology as a primary feature is sound business strategy.

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