DELHI: Audi has postponed the introduction of the all-new A8 flagship luxury sedan to make it the brand’s first car capable of autonomous operation.
The new Audi A8 will not arrive before late 2017, according to a report from Autocar which cites insiders saying that the automaker has been stretched to the limit designing the new electronic architecture that will accommodate “piloted driving”.
According to the sources, this is one of the reasons why the new A8 has been delayed. The upcoming luxury sedan will introduce advanced assisted driving technology, including an autonomous function on motorways at speeds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h).
Audi has very high ambitions with the new A8, with the sources describing it as a “technical masterpiece” aimed at beating the segment’s leader, Mercedes’ S-Class.
For its piloted driving technology, the upcoming Audi A8 will make extensive use of “cloud computing,” which means it will communicate constantly with mainframe computers, uploading information about road conditions as well as downloading previously uploaded data. This data will be stored in the mainframe computers, allowing other VW Group cars to access it.
The model will use a large number of sensors that will give it 360-degree coverage, including long-range radar, laser scanners and mono video cameras facing forward, medium range radar facing rearwards and ultrasonic sensors on each side.
As for the upcoming A8’s looks, it will be Audi’s first model to get the all-new styling language previewed by the Prologue Concept (pictured). The new A8 will be the first car designed from scratch by new design Chief Marc Lichte.
“The next A6 and A7 will also have this look. In the A8, there will be a lot of features from the Prologue. The face and the interior in particular; I’m not a fan of concept cars that are too spectacular, so that’s why you’ll see so much of this design in the new cars,” Audi CEO Ulrich Hackenberg said.