Audi’s AI traffic jam pilot drives alone up to 60 kph
German car maker Audi claims to have a world’s first with its ‘AI traffic jam pilot’, being capable of handling driving in traffic jams on highways on its own, up to 60 kph. This SAE level 3 conditional automation will be featured in the new A8 and is tested these days by journalists around Düssedorf (Germany).
Level 3 conditional automation means that the car recognizes traffic situations around it and handles accordingly automatically, but requires the driver to be able to intervene at all time. When engaging the Traffic Jam Pilot, the driver can take his foot of the throttle and his hands of the wheel and no longer needs to monitor the car constantly, freeing him up to do other things if allowed by law.
Monitoring eyes constantly
However, he must be able to react instantly if the car urges him to, or in emergency situations the car can not handle. A camera analyzes the position of the head of the driver and his eye movements constantly. If the driver closes his eyes for a longer period of time, for instance, the car will urge him to take over control again.
Warnings to resume ‘human’ driving are given in three levels with an acoustic sound to start with up to emergency braking if the driver doesn’t respond. The system will ask the driver to take over when traffic jams are clearing and speed is going up to more than 60 kph.
Due to different homologation rules in different parts of the world and different local legal restrictions, Audi will offer the traffic jam pilot on specific markets when appropriate.
Level 4 and level 5 studies
On the IAA Frankfurt motor show Audi will present two concept studies capable of level 4 and level 5 autonomous driving. The first is based on the Audi e-tron Sportback concept with three electric motors delivering 370 kW and will allow driving up to 130 kph on highways with hands off the wheel.
The latter will be fully autonomous, freeing up the driver no longer to concentrate on traffic, but doing other things while being driven to his destination.