Robert Bosch GmbH supplies the new Audi A8's automatic emergency braking system, which is designed to prevent rear-end collisions. The system can detect and determine the speed of objects up to 250 meters ahead of the vehicle via two long-range radar sensors positioned on both sides of the front bumper. The system also uses a video camera positioned behind the front windshield to further monitor the driving situation. Analysis of the sensor data determines if the brakes need to be applied – and how much braking will be required. For example, if the system detects a vehicle rapidly slowing down ahead, the brake pads are moved very close to the wheel disc in preparation for emergency braking. Should the driver fail to brake, an alarm is sounded followed by automatic partial braking. If the driver still does not react and a collision is unavoidable, the system engages maximum braking approximately half a second before the predicted impact. The video data augments the system, allowing a more intelligent interpretation of the road situation. For example, it enables the system to react more quickly when other vehicles move into the lane ahead. It also regulates numerous other driving functions, such as the dipping of the bi-xenon headlamps, which come from Germany's Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
Bosch also supplies the A8's adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control systems.
Autoliv Inc. provides the third generation of Audi's flagship with a night vision/pedestrian detection system. Autoliv's system detects infrared light from warm objects such as humans. This provides visibility that goes beyond what is possible when using visible reflected light because the field of vision is not limited to the beam of the headlights. With night vision, A8 drivers see people more than two times further than the headlight range. The display screen present in the instrument cluster highlights detected pedestrians, and the system will further alert the driver if there is any risk of hitting them.
The system already appears on the A8's rival from BMW, the 7 series.
Autoliv also provides the A8's driver and passenger airbags, with Bosch producing the control unit that regulates airbag deployment. The passenger airbag is housed in an instrument panel supplied by the Draexlmaier Group of Germany. The supplier used new technology to create invisible seams allowing insertion of the airbag without any negative impact on the panel's aesthetics.
IEE S.A. of Luxembourg provides the A8's standard seat belt reminder. The system detects vehicle occupants using a sensor mat built into the seat and activates a warning light and/or alarm to remind people to put on their seat belts.
Belgium-based commercial vehicle supplier Wabco Holdings Inc. supplies the A8 with its adaptive air suspension, which responds in real-time to the road surface, giving a smoother ride and reducing fuel consumption. Key to the system is Wabco's electronic control unit, which uses the FlexRay high-speed communication protocol, along with the company's newest generation of high-power compressors. Wabco's air suspension system also appears on the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Audi assembles the A8 in Neckarsulm, Germany. Prices start at 72,200 euros ($88,265) in Germany.