Audi New Model “A8” Introduces Japan

Audi new model “A8” introduces Japan at level 2, “AI active suspension” in 2019 also.

Audi Japan announced on September 5, 2018 that it will hold a press conference in Tokyo and will release the “A8” and “A7 Sportback” full remodeled in Japan. Both models adopted new technology such as mild hybrid system with power supply voltage of 48 V and infotainment system of full touch panel. A7 Sportback will be on sale from 6th September the same year and A8 will be on sale from October 15th the same year.

In July 2017, Audi announced A8 as “the world’s first commercially available model corresponding to automatic driving at level 3” (company), but due to the balance between international treaties and laws and regulations in each country, 3 automatic operation system is not installed. Therefore, A8 will introduce level 2 automatic operation, that is, advanced driving support system (ADAS) as a model that can be used in Japan.

The new A8 has 23 LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, Rider), millimeter wave radar, camera, ultrasonic sensor. These sensors monitor 360 degrees around the vehicle. Information on 23 sensors is processed by the integrated control unit “Central Driver Assistance Controller (zFAS)”. zFAS is an image processing processor of NVIDIA processor “Tegra K1”, Infineon’s in-vehicle microcomputer “Aurix”, Altera (Altera) FPGA “Cyclon V SoC” acquired by Intel (Intel), Mobileye It is made up of “EyeQ 3”.

It is said that advanced ADAS has been realized by combining many sensors and zFAS capable of processing the information. New functions added from A8 include “Front Cross Traffic Assist” that warns of the existence of vehicles crossing intersections with bad visibility, “Front Cross Traffic Assist” which warns the existence of vehicles crossing intersections with bad visibility, “Adjustable Drive Assist “and so on. Adaptive drive assist has become able to slow down smoothly even if it is suddenly interrupted by the adoption of LiDAR.

After 2019, “AI Active Suspension” will be introduced to the new A8, which applies the information of the sensor for monitoring the suspension to suspension control. It controls LiDAR and the stroke of the suspension according to the unevenness of the road surface detected by the camera and actively controls the attitude of the vehicle. The stroke of the suspension is operated by an electric actuator that generates a maximum of 1100 Nm using a mild hybrid system’s 48 V power supply.

The AI ​​active suspension also operates when a side collision occurs. If it is judged that the sensor for peripheral monitoring collides with the side surface at a speed of 25 km / h or more at a speed of more than 25 km / h, lift the body on the collided side up to 8 cm so that the side sill and the floor structure with high strength can catch the collision. The load applied to the occupant at the time of a collision can be reduced by 50% compared to the case where the body is not lifted.

The A8, which will be released in October 2018 in Japan, is actually equipped with components used for level 3 automatic operation such as LiDAR and integrated control unit, but it is practically level 2 only. Since the hardware essential for the level 3 automatic driving vehicle is omitted in the present A8, even if the A8 is legally approved as a level 3 automatic driving vehicle, it can not be upgraded to level 3 in the software update .

One of the hardware omitted this time is the driver monitoring system. Audi’s automatic operation of level 3 announced in July 2017 “AI Traffic Jam Pilot” is a function to substitute for driving operation at the time of congestion which is a Noronoro operation approaching the front and rear vehicles, Activate when you press the switch on the center console when traveling at less than 60 km. During automatic operation, it corresponds to interrupts of other cars, even if the driver releases his / her hand from the steering wheel, the function continues. If the traffic jam is resolved or the running speed exceeds 60 km / h, the driver must return to operation. At this time a driver monitoring system will be needed to determine whether the driver can return to driving, but it is not installed in the current A8.

Also, in order to continue operation until evacuating to a safe place in the event of a system failure, it is necessary to provide a backup circuit in the brake and steering, but it is not compatible with A8 dedicated to Level 2 at the present time.

It is an AI traffic jam pilot which has not been mass-produced yet, but what I announced is stimulating against the discussion of regulations and I believe there was meaning to be announced. Currently, with regard to automatic driving above level 3, the United Nations European Economic Committee is discussing the handling of automatic steering (yes) at speeds over 10 km / h. Furthermore, in the Geneva Convention and the Vienna Convention, we are discussing the system’s operation rather than humans.

Audi Japan President and CEO Philip Noack said: “Audi is waiting for the legal development necessary for the automatic operation of Level 3. When we get approved we are ready to introduce it anytime (Japan As Audi Japan which is a corporation) I think that it is important not to ask the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to consensus on global operation, because Japan is an important market, so it is important to introduce level 3 automatic operation I will work on the Audi headquarters so that maintenance will proceed. “