On the safety front, Audi execs announced plans to introduce a new system dubbed Traffic Jam Assistant, which recognizes when a driver is stuck in start-and-stop traffic and can be switched into an autonomous mode that takes complete control of the steering, acceleration and brakes.
The system uses the front-mounted adaptive cruise control sensors combined with wide-angle video cameras to detect lane markings, other vehicles, barriers and pedestrians, and can control the vehicle without any driver intervention up to 37 mph. Eight ultrasonic sensors also keep tabs on what's in front of and at the sides of the vehicle, with the front sensors not only tracking the vehicle ahead, but – like Nissan's latest Predictive Forward Collision Warning System – several vehicles ahead.
If this all sounds familiar, it should. And so should the name. Mercedes-Benz has been working on a similar system called Traffic Jam Assist, which we sampled in an S-Class last year.
Like Mercedes' system, Audi's implementation should make it to market sometime next year, likely in its refreshed range-topping A8.