Like the extant third-generation A8, the fourth-gen will be available in regular and long-wheelbase variants. Only the 204.0-inch length of the former was mentioned, but the wheelbase of the latter is said to be 5.1-inches longer. (Curiously, Audi claims that the A8 “has grown substantially in length in both body versions,” though the length of the short-wheelbase variant only increases by 1.4 inch.)
That said, today’s advances amount to self-driving with asterisks, compared with what we’ll see starting around 2020 and building over that decade. What we have today is still pretty good for highway driving, as well as avoiding rear-end collisions on the highway or pedestrians in town. This will change quickly.
Rollout of traffic jam pilot will vary based on testing and approvals as required market-to-market, so this could be variably available when the A8 ships. Still, it’ll a big step forward in autonomy when it does make it to consumers.
Regardless of how lawmakers initially react to the new car’s technology, Audi is moving forward. The company will further fine-tune its AI and algorithms in anticipation of an autonomous world. The A8 isn’t so much a bet as an investment for Audi, as it levels up in the world of self-driving vehicles.