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Autonomy of A8 vs Tesla

Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
For a newbie who does not own a Tesla (nor any other car with autonomy beyond cruise control), can anyone explain the following passage from Verge's review of the Audi A8, which appears to me to describe precisely what Tesla's Autopilot already does? I understand A8 has locked capability to do more than Autopilot, and I know that LIDAR is a good thing, generally. But what am I missing here? Is this in any way superior to Tesla's autonomy? Doesn't Tesla AutoPilot already handle traffic jams (plus, I think, normal-speed highway driving regardless of physical traffic-separation)?


In Audi’s parlance, the A8’s autonomous features translate as the “AI traffic jam pilot,” meaning the car can take control of the driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 kilometers per hour. The system is activated by a button on the center console, and it can take over acceleration, braking, steering, and starting from a dead-stop, all without the driver paying attention.

Let that sink in for a second. Using a combination of LIDAR (another first for a production car, Audi claims), a front-facing camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, Audi says the A8 is capable of driving all by itself at speeds of up to 37 mph. There are a couple caveats, obviously. The traffic jam pilot only works on highways with a physical barrier separating oncoming traffic, and the use of the system is subject to the laws of whichever jurisdiction you’re driving through.
 

malcolm

Active Member
Nov 12, 2006
3,072
1,729
The A8 system needs congested roads because it uses sensors to maintain safe distance from, and match speed to, the surrounding vehicles.

It's a neat idea - A.I. by Proxy - the A8 can rely on being piloted by the intelligence in the heads of the other drivers in the nearest vehicles.
 
Last edited:

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,119
7,836
Visalia, CA
...any way superior to Tesla's autonomy?...

I like Tesla current beta philosophy, though imperfect for all conditions but it's much more flexible and functional.

Although Audi's function is rigid and not as flexible but the company does take the responsibility if its system malfunctions:

"In 2015, Volvo revealed that it would accept full liability if one of its autonomous cars crashed while in a self-driving mode and German rival Audi has just confirmed it will do the same."
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,764
7,973
Maine
For a newbie who does not own a Tesla (nor any other car with autonomy beyond cruise control), can anyone explain the following passage from Verge's review of the Audi A8, which appears to me to describe precisely what Tesla's Autopilot already does? I understand A8 has locked capability to do more than Autopilot, and I know that LIDAR is a good thing, generally. But what am I missing here? Is this in any way superior to Tesla's autonomy? Doesn't Tesla AutoPilot already handle traffic jams (plus, I think, normal-speed highway driving regardless of physical traffic-separation)?


In Audi’s parlance, the A8’s autonomous features translate as the “AI traffic jam pilot,” meaning the car can take control of the driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 kilometers per hour. The system is activated by a button on the center console, and it can take over acceleration, braking, steering, and starting from a dead-stop, all without the driver paying attention.

Let that sink in for a second. Using a combination of LIDAR (another first for a production car, Audi claims), a front-facing camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, Audi says the A8 is capable of driving all by itself at speeds of up to 37 mph. There are a couple caveats, obviously. The traffic jam pilot only works on highways with a physical barrier separating oncoming traffic, and the use of the system is subject to the laws of whichever jurisdiction you’re driving through.

It's the bit I've emphasized that's the important bit. It's limited Level 3: within certain limited conditions you will not have to pay attention (as long as the law allows). They're saying that the car will be able to warn you to pay attention and take control.
 

Tiger

Active Member
Oct 31, 2016
1,700
1,264
Estonia
It's the bit I've emphasized that's the important bit. It's limited Level 3: within certain limited conditions you will not have to pay attention (as long as the law allows). They're saying that the car will be able to warn you to pay attention and take control.

Yes, the main difference is "without the driver paying attention", also note https://www.caradvice.com.au/582380...ibility-in-event-of-autonomous-vehicle-crash/

Discussed in more detail here: First L3 Self Driving Car - Audi A8 world premieres in Barcelona
 
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Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
The A8 system needs congested roads because it uses sensors to maintain safe distance from, and match speed to, the surrounding vehicles.

It's a neat idea - A.I. by Proxy - the A8 can rely on being piloted by the intelligence in the heads of the other drivers in the nearest vehicles.

Hey, malcolm,

That's really interesting, and I think I understand some of that, but not all. To save you from explaining, is there some article I can read (or a thread here) that flushes out a bit the diff between the two philosophies?
 

daktari

Member
Jan 21, 2017
908
1,030
Norway
Great thread, great replies, thanks everybody!
Audi: you don't need to pay attention but have 10-15 seconds (?) to take over control if the car asks. Limited scenarios.

Tesla: you need to pay the same attention as if you drive the car yourself. Can be used almost on any road with a decent lane marker.
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
Tesla AP handles slow moving stop/start traffic effortlessly. One of its best features I would say. Does pretty well at high speeds too on roads with decent lane markings. Due to earlier abuse by some drivers (e.g. driving from the backseat etc) and a few high profile crashes AP does now require the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel (or at least wiggle it every minute or so). So in a sense you still have to "drive" the car to a degree. For that reason I sometimes revert to TACC (which is basically AP without the auto steer) in slow moving traffic jams and steer myself so I'm not looking out for the hands-on nagging on the dash every minute. Either way it makes traffic jam crawling effortless compared to continually prodding the brake and accelerator. It's very smooth too in its operation. Doesn't sound like the A8 would be any better, except maybe true hands off operation. But then in that case it won't be long before Audi drivers abuse the hands off ability and have the same dilemma Tesla faced after someone dies because they trusted it too much and didn't pay any attention to the road.
 

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