2018 Audi A8 With Level 3 Self-Driving Capability Ready But Regulations Won't Allow It

Apr 25, 2017 11:10 AM EDT | Anthony Hunter


Audi will finally take the wraps off of its redesigned 2018 Audi A8 on July 11, 2017, during the Audi Summit that will be held in Barcelona, Spain. The vehicle will be equipped with a Level 3 self-driving capability which makes the new A8 the first car on sale with such technology.

The 2018 Audi A8 was caught having a test drive at the Nurburgring. The car looks to retain the same size and overall shape of the contemporary model. On the other hand, the new vehicle will have a prominence on the exterior with its overall width and the evolution of Audi's Singleframe grille which is now much wider and stretched out.

After the original model had been released in 1994, the company released the second generation in late 2002 and the third and current iteration at the end of 2009. The new vehicle to set on the road will be the fourth generation of the A8.

As suggested by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Level 3 self-driving is where a specific car can take full control but only in specific situations and has a driver with it ready to take control of the car when prompted. It means that a driver can use a phone or even read a book once the car is in self-driving mode.

According to Motor1, company's CEO, Rupert Stadler said that the new A8 would only get this feature once the governments in Audi's core markets allow it. Currently, the authorities in Germany are studying the prospect of changing the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic by introducing a new bill to allow Level 3 and 4 of autonomous driving.

In addition, the bill would also require a black box recorder so crash investigators can easily determine the conditions at the time of an accident or whether the driver or the car was in control. Most companies that are developing self-driving cars said that they are ready to accept full responsibility for any accidents that is caused by the car when it's in self-driving mode.

However, the public is yet to see the legal framework established to allow the Level 3 self-driving capability. The 2018 Audi A8 likely will not offer a Level 3 self-driving capability once it's launch despite having the new technology ready.


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