The automotive industry is evolving, and the latest trend is automation. Audi has developed many vehicles with automated technologies, and BMW has automobiles with these features, too. If you understand both brands’ features and marketing tactics, you can select the right autonomous vehicle.
Details About Audi’s Automated Driving Program
Automated technologies drive the team at Audi. The company has developed great tech in this field for over a decade, reaching several milestones.
The History of Audi’s Automated Vehicles
In 2005, the team at the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab and experts from Stanford University in California tested an automated vehicle by Audi, setting a speed record on a 132-mile course. Audi’s vehicle won the DARPA Grand Challenge for American autonomous vehicles that year.
The Audi TTS smashed the earlier speed record in 2009, climbing to 130.5 mph. The following year, the Audi TTS scaled Pikes Peak in Colorado with no one in the driver’s seat.
In order to continue the program, the carmaker needed to test their vehicles in common, real-life situations. In 2013, Audi performed these tests successfully in Nevada, and became the first automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) the state’s first autonomous driving license.
The future is bright for Audi. The team wants to build automated vehicles that take total control away from the driver. To accomplish this, they will create highly efficient driving systems that use artificial intelligence, cameras, and sensors.
Audi’s current automated technologies are layered. This means that the technologies have both proactive and reactive properties. These properties can be quite beneficial during various scenarios on the road. Every vehicle in Audi’s lineup that has Advanced Driver Assistance Systems can adapt using these layered capabilities.
Most contemporary automobiles by Audi have Audi Pre Sense. This technology gives a vehicle the ability to control certain automated operations. It powers cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alerts. If a vehicle has an air suspension system, Pre Sense can power it, too.
The Future of Automated Vehicles, According to Audi
There are new developments in Audi’s pipeline. The company is a fan of Level 2 Traffic Jam Assist. It activates a semi-automated assist at very slow speeds. Level 2 Traffic Jam Assist is currently available for the 2017 Q7 and A4.
Audi also has an innovative concept car in development. It debuted at Germany’s Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. The concept car is called Elaine; it’s an all-electric vehicle. This car has a feature that automatically controls the steering wheel, and it can maneuver into a neighboring lane automatically at high speeds.
The brand’s other concept vehicle is called AI:CON. It will have Level 5 automation. The company says that it will “offer a maximum of comfort, communications technology and freedom for its occupants,” who can relax and let the car safely take them to their destination.
In Audi’s previous lineups, there are multiple cars that have an Advanced Driver Assist System. The A4 or A5 is worth considering if you want an solid autonomous vehicle that was released in 2020.
The Audi A4 has many safety solutions for the road. Most of the technologies are very helpful. However, a few features are a bit sensitive when they’re activated on congested roads.
In terms of braking and acceleration, the A4 has a great traffic-adaptive cruise system. It can sense when the vehicle is about to make a turn.
An Audi A5 has a lane-keeping assist system and adaptive cruise control. On a highway, the lane-keeping assist system will make adjustments automatically if the A5 drifts into a neighboring lane. The adaptive cruise control system provides benefits on highways, too. It helps the A5 maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of it.
Key Details About Autonomous Vehicles by Audi
Audi has unique terms for common automations. Lane-centering steering is called Traffic Jam Assist. It takes over when a vehicle reaches 40 mph. Active Lane Assist is often a separate feature that triggers when the car exceeds 40 mph. Adaptive Cruise Control is often called Adaptive Cruise Assist.
BMW has engineers and technicians who work on driver assistance systems. When they build vehicles, they often incorporate the principles that define an autonomous vehicle.
The History of BMW’s Automated Vehicles
The BMW Group has been working to develop autonomous driving since 2004, focusing on sensor technology, computing capacity, and artificial intelligence. BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes have partnered to create cars that are just one step beneath full autonomy. They’re targeting 2024 for commercial release of the vehicles. Another high-profile partnership has BMW, Intel, and Mobileye working to get fully autonomous cars into production before long. Although they didn’t achieve this for 2021 as originally anticipated, they’re getting close to putting a mid-level, highly automated car on the road.
When it comes to autonomy, cars are rated from Level 0, where the driver must do everything, to Level 5, where the car can do everything. Here’s a quick look at the levels of autonomous driving.
Level 1 – Driver Assistance
Every vehicle in BMW’s lineup has a Level 1 automation. The main option is called the BMW Personal CoPilot Driver Assistance System. It has features that increase comfort and safety.
BMW’s Active Cruise Control is a Level 1 automation. This system has a Stop and Go feature; it automatically makes adjustments when a BMW trails another automobile on the road.
Currently, BMW has automobiles with Level 2 technologies on the road. They’re often called semi-autonomous driving assistance systems.
A steering and lane control assistant is a Level 2 system. It’s usually bundled with a traffic jam assistant. Together, these technologies make general driving routines easier for a driver. A Level 2 automation is advanced enough to control a vehicle’s acceleration and steering.
BMW has Level 2 autonomous parking systems, too. A Level 2 system doesn’t take full control of a car during parking situations. When a remote-controlled parking system is activated, a driver must control the car while monitoring traffic in the surroundings.
Level 3 – Conditional Automation
Level-three autonomous technologies aren’t available yet. However, BMW has plans for the technologies. When these vehicles are ready for the road, they will give a driver considerable freedom. Basically, a Level 3 system will have total awareness, and it will give a driver opportunities to focus less on the road in specific situations.
These systems will have strict guidelines. For example, if a driver wants to take over again, a Level 3 system will deactivate within seconds.
This technology is still in the testing phase. The BMW team has conducted tests using Level 3 technology on local roads for a few years.
Level 4 – High Automation
At this level, a car will be able to drive itself without human intervention, although it will still be subject to speed limits and geofencing and must operate in a software-enabled area.
Level 5 – Full Autonomous Driving
Truly the car of the future, an automobile at this level will be able to drive itself without restrictions or geographical limitations. Its occupants will be free to work, watch a movie, or even take a nap.
BMW is known for its advanced autonomous technologies. Adaptive cruise control is included with many vehicles by this brand. It’s a standard feature for the 2020 BMW 2 Series and the 2020 BMW 4 Series.
2020 BMW 2 Series
A 2020 BMW 2 Series is a very powerful autonomous vehicle, and it has a great fuel economy. As a sporty coupe, it handles quite well on the road.
2020 BMW 4 Series
This vehicle is very balanced. It’s easy to drive, and it has solid comfort features. Also, the cabin is upscale, and there are many easy-to-use controls near the steering wheel.
Automations are very convenient because they make normal driving tasks easier. In the future, many brands will build cars that can operate without a driver, and Audi and BMW are among those that will lead the way.