Audi has demonstrated its upcoming semi-autonomous ‘Traffic Jam Assistant’ function with a new video, highlighting its potential to release drivers from the burden of stop/start traffic.
When the system recognises a safe opportunity for Traffic Jam Assistant to be activated, it alerts the driver via the instrument panel display, and the driver simply activates the system with a steering wheel mounted button.
The system then assumes steering, throttle and brake control of the vehicle, using a bevy of sensors to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
According to Audi, the system will work at speeds up to 32km/h, and will alert the driver with a chime if speeds approach this threshold, before returning full control to the driver.
Traffic Jam Assistant was among several new technologies presented by Audi at the recent 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, coinciding with news that Audi had been granted an autonomous vehicle licence in the US state of Nevada.
This licence will enable Audi to continue its development of Traffic Jam Assistant in real-world traffic conditions, ahead of its availability in production models.
Audi has confirmed that Traffic Jam Assistant will make its production debut in its next-generation A8 flagship, expected in 2016.
Significantly, rival Mercedes Benz is set to launch a similar system with its 2014 S-Class flagship, due to be revealed this year - likely two years ahead of Audi.