There’s a reason automakers are by and large skipping Audi’s the latest marque to end the pursuit of the controversial technology.and aiming straight for Level 4, and
Automotive News Europe reported Tuesday Audi will no longer add a Level 3 system, called Traffic Jam Pilot, to the A8 sedan in Europe. The technology was , but Audi had every intention of bringing the system to European roads. But Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Audi’s head of technical development, told the publication it’s simply too late to add the technology as the current A8’s already through a good portion of its lifecycle. Audi of Europe did not immediately return Roadshow’s request for comment.
The deeper problem reportedly comes down to liability and the unknowns surrounding the Level 3 partial automation. According to the report, Audi had trouble getting regulatory approval and corporate lawyers cautioned Traffic Jam Pilot could leave the company exposed to legal issues in the event of a crash. Should a wreck occur with Traffic Jam Pilot engaged, Audi would’ve been liable, not the driver.
Rothenpieler further told the publication there’s simply no legal framework for the technology and it would be impossible to homologate Traffic Jam Pilot anywhere in the world.
Level 3 technology on the SAE scale of autonomy allows drivers to take their eyes off the road, but only under certain conditions. In this case, Audi planned to let the car do the driving in certain instances on highways, but the drivers still needed to remain on guard to take back control as needed.
With such a caveat, it almost makes the feature more stressful than anything, at least in my opinion. That’s why so many companies bypassed Level 3 and are shooting for Level 4, which allows nearly full autonomy. Even if there’s an issue, a Level 4 car won’t need to hand controls back to the driver. Today’s systems on the market register at Level 2 partial automation and include self-driving cars on sale today., and others. There are no fully
Audi could be the canary in the coal mine for other brands that still plan on including some sort of eyes-off-the-road technology. Bothand previously said this sort of partially automated technology will show up on cars coming in the next few years.
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