German automobile manufacturer Audi has unveiled the 2018 Audi A8, the fourth generation of its flagship model that Audi claims to be the first production car to reach Level 3 autonomy.

The new Audi A8 is packed with powerful specifications and high-tech features, including a self-driving mechanism that will save drivers from the headaches associated with traffic jams.

The Traffic Jam Pilot Of The Audi A8

The Traffic Jam Pilot of the Audi A8 is a self-driving feature capable of steering the vehicle through traffic moving at up to 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour). The feature is activated by simply pressing a button located at the Audi A8's center console, upon which the Traffic Jam Pilot will take control of the vehicle's starting, accelerating, steering, and braking.

The self-driving system is powered by a combination of a front-facing camera, ultrasonic sensors, radar, and LIDAR, the last of which is also present in a production car for the first time, Audi says.

There are a few caveats with the Traffic Jam Pilot though. The feature only works when the Audi A8 is on highways, and when there is a physical barrier that blocks off oncoming traffic. The Traffic Jam Pilot is also subject to the laws of where the Audi A8 is driving through, so owners will need to read up on local laws to check if activating the feature is legal.

Many other vehicles have shown limited self-driving capabilities, but all previous ones have only reached Level 2 autonomy, which places a time limit on how long drivers can allow the system to take control. The Audi A8 with its Traffic Jam Pilot, however, will enforce no time limit. As long as the traffic jam is still present, drivers can focus their attention elsewhere.

What Else Does The Audi A8 Offer?

The Audi A8 offers much more beyond its self-driving capabilities though.

Audi will offer the vehicle with three gasoline, two diesel, and one plug-in hybrid engine options. The gasoline options go up to a 585 horsepower, 6.0 W12 engine, while the hybrid will feature 449 system horsepower through a combined 3.0 V6 engine and electric drive system. The diesel options, meanwhile, will likely not be made available in the United States.

The Audi A8 also features a luxurious cabin, the latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment system, and a highly innovative suspension system.

All of these will not come for cheap through. The Audi A8 will carry a price tag of at least $100,000 once it arrives in the United States next year as a 2019 model.

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