Audi is highlighting its ambitions for self-driving cars with two concept vehicles that have Level 4 and Level 5 "hands-free" autonomous functions.
One of the concepts – a large luxury sedan with Level 5 fully autonomous capability – will have a "spectacular and groundbreaking" interior and exterior design, Audi said in a statement on Friday.
The concept is powered by four electric motors and is designed primarily for long journeys. It has a range of 700 - 800 km (435-497 miles), Audi said.
The concept's Level 5 technology means it can drive itself in all situations without any human intervention. A Level 5 autonomous car does not need a steering wheel but Audi gave no details of the concept's interior layout.
The car offers occupants "entirely new freedoms where they no longer have to concentrate on road traffic" and its new connectivity and communication technology will make traveling "extremely comfortable," Audi said.
Level 4 concept
Audi’s second concept is a coupe-styled crossover with Level 4 high autonomous capability where the car can pilot itself but the driver can take back the control.
The concept can drive itself at speeds of up to 120 kph (80 mph) on the highway, Audi said. It has three electric motors to give a combined power of 396 hp and is based on the E-tron Sportback concept unveiled at the Shanghai auto show in April, which is due to go on sale as a production car in 2019.
Both concepts will have their public debuts at the Frankfurt auto show on Tuesday when Audi will also show its new A8 flagship sedan. The latest A8 has Level 3 autonomy, making hands-free driving possible at speeds possible up to 60 kph (37 mph) where local laws allow. The A8 will be the most advanced self-driving production car on sale, Audi says.