The new Audi R8 is a powerhouse of computers and sensors. There are 24 exterior sensors for safety systems alone and Audi Wilmington (DE) says the computer has more processing power than all the computers in the old A8 put together. But those are just the headlines. Here’s a look at other impressive technologies built into Audi’s newest luxury sedan.
Active suspension uses an electric actuator at each corner of the suspension to raise or lower that wheel. So, with this ability on all four wheels, the system can combat roll, pitch, dive and even speed bump dynamics. The system gets its input from a forward-facing camera that operates at 18 frames per second, evaluating the road surface ahead to create a “map” of upcoming obstacles. According to engineers, when in operation, there’s almost no indication the car is driving over anything but a perfectly smooth road.
One more trick: To ease ingress and egress, the suspension automatically raises by 1.6 inches when you open a door, then lowers 10 seconds after the door has closed. The goal is to make it just a bit less difficult to climb in and out of the Audi versus when it’s sitting at its regular ride height.
48-Volt Electrical System
In the A8, 24 volts is needed to power the active suspension actuators and for the mild-hybrid starter-generator. The 48-volt battery is a 10 amp-hour lithium-ion unit mounted at the rear of the car. However, the majority of the car’s electrical system still runs on a traditional 12-volt battery that’s mounted in the trunk; a DC-DC converter connects the two systems. It will probably be some time until other parts of the car’s system run on the 48-volt wiring.
Making Side-Impacts Less Impactful
The Audi A8 attempts to combat getting T-boned by quickly raising the active suspension on one side of the vehicle by 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) if it detects an impending collision from the side. The goal is to focus the other vehicle’s impact onto the Audi’s lower rail below the doors, as that’s much stronger than the door panels themselves.
Fully Electric Door Handles
Electrically actuated door handles can feel like a gimmick, but the A8’s have a lovely tactile feel. Both the interior and exterior handles are electric, so they open with the gentlest touch. Aside from making opening the door ever-so-slightly easier, the electric handles are critical for enabling the safety feature listed in the next bullet point. B
Dynamic All-Wheel Steering
The Audi A8 has rear wheel steering. The rear wheels can pivot up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction of the fronts at low speeds – more than rival systems. It’s also coupled with variable-ratio steering, meaning that in parking situations, far fewer hand-over-hand steering wheel turns are required than normal. The numbers tell the real impact: the system shrinks the new A8’s turning circle by three feet com
Traffic Jam Pilot
Traffic Jam Pilot (TJP) will provide Level Three Autonomous Driving. On highways with a divider between each direction of traffic, and when traffic speeds are below 37 mph, TJP will take over all steering, brake, and accelerating functions. Audi says the car will accelerate on its own when traffic moves off, and the driver won’t need to keep a hand on the wheel or pay continuous attention. The system will just drive in busy traffic completely by itself.the car will automatically brake if you’re about to bump something ing
With the HD Matrix option, and each headlight is fitted with 138 LEDs that can be individually controlled. That allows for cornering illumination, with the A8 taking input not just from the steering wheel but also from the navigation system; approach a curve, and the nav system will help guide light around the corner before you even start to steer. The high beams also automatically dim portions of the light that are pointed to other drivers, preventing “high beam blinding.”
Photo credit : Motor1