The brand with the four rings gave up research and development of autonomous driving. But the new law passed in Germany has given Audi wings to retake this advanced technology. The firm has equipped the new Q8 with all the necessary devices and is already conducting tests in China, one of the best scenarios for this task.
Autonomous driving returns to Audi. Although a few months ago, the German brand resigned due to the high cost it entailed and without seeing a regulatory regulation that would allow its implementation, the firm has resumed these investigations with a new fleet of units that is touring different world scenarios. The truth is the first autonomous driving law passed in Germany has reopened the doors to this advanced technique.
And even more so, the recent permission and homologation that the star’s brand received a few days ago, which will allow the most exclusive Mercedes models to be autonomous from 2022, although only in the native country. In the case of Audi, the firm has moved to one of the most populated countries in the world to test the different devices equipped on board the Q8. The SUV coupé has been transformed into a technological test mule with the most powerful and innovative systems and sensors, on the front, sides and a large paraphernalia on the roof, which travels through Chinese cities.
Level 4 autonomous Audi Q8 tested in China
To the usual radar and ultrasound sensors, a new generation of powerful LIDARs and cameras are also added that allow to have functions up to level 4. A technological compendium that the German brand tests over and over again in the Chinese town of Wuxi, on a specific 6.5 kilometer long route. And it is that this city of six million inhabitants, together with the capital of Beijing, allow these advanced tests of autonomous driving to be carried out, taking advantage of public roads and traffic.
In fact, the Q8 prototype converted into an autonomous SUV is prepared for the driver to intervene only in real emergencies, with a practically conventional interior. One of the important differences can be seen in the image on these lines, since the sports SUV is equipped with the traffic light assistant, one of the «V2X» technologies, in such a way that it communicates, sends and receives information from other vehicles and traffic infrastructures.
The traffic light assistant also works in Europe, although only in the German cities of Düsseldorf and Ingolstadt, the great home of Audi. The system displays a countdown timer on the digital instrument cluster indicating the time remaining for the traffic light to change from red to green. In the Asian giant, it is also available on board the long versions of the Audi A6 and A7 Sportback, also adding a local danger warning.