Robo chauffeur: Next Audi A8 might boast the brand’s self-driving tech

Audi plans to bring semi-autonomous driving capability to production cars in the near future and, perhaps not surprisingly, that will begin with its flagship model, the A8.

Due in 2017, the next generation of Audi’s full-size luxury sedan will be the first to get this new tech, Australia’s Motoring reports.

Audi head of Product and Technology Communications Stefan Moser bragged to the news site that the new A8 will be a better driver than most humans, noting that it will never get distracted.

Moser said Audi believes the technology is ready for prime time, but is just waiting for regulations to catch up. The carmaker has made multiple public demonstrations of self-driving cars, including a fast lap of Germany’s Hockenheimring last week with an autonomous RS 7 test car.

Related: Test driving Audi’s A7 autonomous car

However, so far it doesn’t appear that Audi will start with a fully-autonomous car. Previous discussions of its plans suggested the first system will allow cars to drive themselves in certain situations, such as urban traffic.

Similar systems have been promised by Nissan, Tesla Motors, and Mercedes-Benz, which has already demonstrated an autonomous version of its S-Class – the A8’s main rival.

The A8 itself will be previewed by the A9 concept at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

In addition to updated styling, it may feature a new tablet-like infotainment interface, but we won’t know the full details until at least 2016, when the car is expected to debut ahead of a 2017 launch.

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