1 in 5 accidents happen in a parking lot, so collision avoidance in tight spaces should be welcome by those of hate parking and those wishing to avoid being hit! Audi imagine’s a world where you just step out of the car and use your smartphone to park on its own. The Audi A8’s smarts don’t stop at parking, but one of the sci-fi features that I’ve been waiting for.
Remote parking pilot is a part of the Audi Ai package and when the laws allow it, will also include Level 3 autonomous drive with Traffic jam assist.
Your A8 will be able to handle parallel parking and parking in bays forwards or backward. There’s also remote garage pilot, which is similar to the parking system, allowing the A8 to slide in and out of cover without you having to be in the car.
When we tested it in Valencia, and we were surprised to learn that it doesn’t even have to be a line of sight, but you do have to be in a 6-meter radius of the car for it to work.
The myAudi app let’s you see a live stream from the vehicle’s 360 degree cameras on your phone.
Using the MyAudi smartphone app, drivers can remotely summon or park their car while watching a live display on their device using the A8’s 360-degree camera.
The coolest part is that the driver does not need to be in the car for it to work.
Audi showed off a version of its self-parking feature back in 2013 at CES. Back then, an Audi A7 was guided by an array of laser scanners embedded in the parking garage that communicated to the car over Wi-Fi, keeping it abreast of its precise location and any obstructions nearby. The A8’s ability to self-park in a setting without embedded sensors communicating with the car speaks to how much progress Audi has made with this feature.
Another interesting feature is the A8’s 48-volt active, electromechanical suspension platform. Depending on the driver’s wishes and the driving situation, it is capable of raising or lowering each wheel separately with electric actuators. This becomes extremely handy in a crash situation.
The side of the car raises up 8cm so the impact is shifted toward the bottom of the car which is the strongest point on the vehicle.
The active suspension system is powered by a massive 48-volt electrical system. Via a series of components that includes gears, actuators, and levers, the system is able to exert over 800 pound-feet on the suspension at each wheel. This is how the car is able to respond so quickly in the event of a collision.
During the A8 test drive, I tried out their parking assist features as well as a Parking lot parkour where they set up a very tight test course to show you how hard it is to get in an accident in the A8. Be sure to watch the video because I still managed to run into something.
Another driving course was focused on the dynamic all-wheel steering.
The chassis has a dedicated centralized ECU (Electronic Chassis Platform) which is a switch as previously we could have seen up to 80ECU in one car. The Dynamic all-wheel steering is very noticeable, the A8 is a very long full-size car, but when you’re driving it, it feels much more compact than it is. The turning circle of the A8 is smaller than that of the A4.
What is fascinating, during our drive we were able to look at the calculations the car made to decide how much steering should take place. Rather than have to turn the wheel as far is it could go to make a tight turn you only have to turn it a few times. The platform is able to decipher how much more steering you’ll need, with the system on I was able to easily make a u-turn, with it off I had to make a 3 point turn.
We’ve been spending a lot of time looking at the Audi A8 because it’s the first level 3 autonomous car to enter in the market, check out some of our other coverage here.