In the Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi has sent a converted Q8 onto the streets. The test vehicle drives autonomously according to level 4.
Audi already wanted to offer autonomous driving according to level 3 as a pioneer with the current A8. This plan failed because of the licensing regulations. However, the developers could not be stopped. In the meantime, an Audi Q8 is on the road for test purposes, which is almost completely automated. Level 4 autonomous driving only requires the driver to intervene in certain emergency situations, so the steering wheel and pedals are still on board.
The test vehicle was presented in the Chinese metropolis of Wuxi, which has six million people. Official permits allow Audi there and in the capital Beijing to use fully automated vehicles on public roads.
The traffic light assistant is also on board
Cameras, lidar and radar sensors help the converted Audi Q8 to find its way, easily recognizable by the roof structures. With the help of V2X technology (Vehicle to Everything), the car communicates with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. The autonomous driving functions could be tested in 13 case studies, for example at a pedestrian crossing, on a 6.5-kilometer test route in Wuxi.
V2X is also the technical starting point for driving assistants that already support drivers today. One example is the traffic light assistant at Audi. A countdown in the instrument cluster shows when the traffic light turns green, and a speed to reach a "green wave" is recommended before crossing. In Germany, communication with traffic lights currently only works in Düsseldorf and Ingolstadt.
In China, the traffic light assistant will be offered for the first time in the A6L and A7L models built for the local market, together with a local hazard warning, both of which use the fast 5G mobile communications standard.
In the Chinese city of Wuxi, an Audi Q8 with a large number of sensors is on the road. This car drives there autonomously to level 4 for test purposes.