Audi have abandoned plans to introduce Level 3, eyes-off-the-road autonomous driving technology in their A8 sedan.
The feature, called Traffic Jam Pilot, was to have been activated only in markets where regulations allowed it. Since then, global regulators in Geneva have still not agreed on a type approval process for even the most rudimentary L3 functionality. At that level a vehicle can be put into autopilot mode under certain circumstances, allowing the driver to take their eyes off the road.
Given the regulatory delays, Audi won’t have sufficient time to make the system compliant before the next A8’s release date. Audi technical development chief Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler cited problems getting regulatory approval for the Traffic Jam Pilot, which when operating would automatically transfer liability in the event of an accident from the driver to the manufacturer.
“Currently, there is no legal framework for Level 3 automated driving and it is not possible to homologate such functions anywhere in the world in a series production car,” Rothenpieler said.