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Audi Says Next A8's Self-Driving Tech Limited by Laws That Could Be Changed

Current legislation is the only thing that stops the 2018 Audi A8 from being a Level 3 Autonomous car, company representatives say.
2018 Audi A8 34 photos
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The flagship sedan is expected to come on sale later this year, and it will have the hardware required to drive itself in particular conditions, but there’s a chance that its systems will not be activated.

German law, for example, has a few restrictions that are as old as the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, and changes are needed to allow Level 3 Autonomous cars drive on public roads.

As Automotive News remarks, the upper chamber of Parliament in Germany is already considering approving an amendment to the '68 Vienna Convention, which would enable automakers to transfer control of some of their automobiles from their drivers to the systems of the car.

The current proposition requires fitting a “black box” that will store all handover protocols and circumstances to ensure that investigators will know from the first second if a car involved in an accident was driving itself or operated by a human.

If these modifications to the legislation are accomplished, Audi will have the opportunity of launching the world’s first “Conditional Automation” vehicle without any asterisks or false expectations.

Audi
CEO Rupert Stadler explained that the proposed level of autonomy would allow drivers to let the car drive itself at speeds of less than 37 mph (60 km/h) in heavy congestion, or on highways that are physically separated from oncoming traffic.

Suggested things to do while the car drives itself in these conditions involve reading a book, getting up to speed the news on your phone, or replying to e-mails. In other words, this could reduce distracted driving and make day-to-day travels more comfortable.

Unlike Tesla’s Autopilot, categorized as Level 2 autonomy, also known as partial automation, the driver does not have to keep his or her hands on the wheel or their attention to the road in the described conditions.

Drivers will not be able to use the vehicle’s function while sleeping, for example, but will have up to ten seconds to retake control of the wheel before their experience and decision-making skills will be required.

 
 
 
 
 

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