The Ingolstadt-based automaker has used the red carpet of the Berlinale film festival in Germany to take the wraps off its autonomous A8 L W 12 limousine.
Who said movie stars aren’t courageous (should look at Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible stunts)? The A8 L W12 that used its many computer brains to drive itself has been labeled as “another milestone on the path toward piloted driving,” and for the movie festival it swung by to pick up actor Daniel Brühl (Daniel César Martín Brühl González by his actual name is of Rush – Nikki Lauda fame for us petrolheads) and his girlfriend from their hotel and then drive them without driver input to the red carpet at the Berlinale Palast. The model managed to navigate the treacherous traffic by using a wide array of cameras and sensors to locate prominent architectural objects along the route and then compare them with a detailed map that was crafted in advance.
Unlike its other piloted driving concepts that usually are more prone to the performance side, Audi made the A8 L W12 feel as if being driven by an actual chauffeur so the programming included smooth acceleration and braking coaching – to make sure Brühl and his girlfriend were as comfortable as possible. “We have already proven that we can have piloted cars drive safely on a race track and on the expressway. At the Berlinale, we have now mastered a complex urban traffic situation with maximum ease,” commented Stefan Knirsch, Audi’s top technical development executive. Bruhl appears to have agreed as his words included car and the way it did “everything perfectly.”