The new A8 also demonstrates Audi’s concentrated innovative power in its assistance systems, offering a wide, newly echeloned range of high-tech systems. Compared with the competition, they are considerably more efficient and intelligent, thanks to their pioneering new networking.
The radar-aided automatic proximity control system, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, has undergone intensive development. Its two radar sensors are now located in the front end of the A8 in the air inlets.
The system regulates the speed and the proximity to the preceding vehicle in the range of 0 to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). In stop-and-go traffic it decelerates the new A8 to a standstill. In short stops the sedan automatically resumes moving when the preceding vehicle drives off; after a longer stop the driver must tap the accelerator or the cruise control lever.
Informed by the new navigation system, the ACC stop & go function always knows where the A8 is located. It retrieves data from up to 27 control units and operates closely together with the other driver assistance systems, such as the rear radar of the Audi side assist. Thanks to this high level of information the system can detect complex scenarios and make anticipatory decisions in support of the driver.
On the highway, if the car ahead puts on its right turn signal and slows down because its driver wants to exit, the ACC stop & go function recognizes this fact thanks to the camera image and because it can read the exit from the route data supplied by the navigation system. A conventional system would now brake analogously to the car ahead; in many cases the A8 continues on almost without change.
Audi side assist: safety when changing lanes
At speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and above, Audi side assist operates with two radar sensors in the rear that observe events occurring behind the car. Should another vehicle be moving in the critical area, the yellow LED indicator in the housing of the outside mirror first lights up. If the driver nevertheless activates the turn signal to change lanes, the indicator becomes brighter and begins to blink quickly – a signal that can hardly be overlooked.
At speeds above roughly 65 km/h (40.39 mph), Audi lane assist intervenes when the driver is about to leave the lane inadvertently. A camera above the interior mirror observes the road. Software processes the images, analyzing the lane markings and the course of the sedan. Should it drive onto a line without signaling, Audi lane assist induces a vibration in the steering wheel. The image data is also used by the ACC stop & go function and the continuous headlight range control.
A totally new assistance system also profits from the camera – the speed limit indicator, to follow in mid-2010. It detects speed limit signs along the side of the road and presents them as graphics in the instrument cluster display.
Also debuting in the Audi A8 is the night vision assistant. The heart of this system is a thermal imaging camera sitting behind the four rings at the front of the car. A computer transforms the information from the camera into images and displays them on the display located between the instruments.
The so-called remote infrared technology used by Audi looks ahead by up to 300 meters (984 ft), depending on the driven speed. Because the system reacts to the heat emitted by objects, people and animals are generally displayed conspicuously bright, while the cool road remains dark. The image processing software specifically seeks human contours – yellow markings in the display highlight detected people. If the person’s movements lead the control unit to assume a hazard, the person is marked red and a warning gong sounds.
Two parking aids make it easy to maneuver. The parking aid plus uses four sensors each at the front and at the rear. The parking aid advanced with reversing camera also uses a camera in the trunk lid. Its images are displayed on the MMI monitor.
The equipment, data, and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.