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As a result of extensive technical investigations, Audi has determined that a software update is required for its Audi A8 model (type D4) with the 4.2-liter TDI V8 engine with Euro 6 certification. Among other things, the update should ensure that after cold starts, the engine more quickly reaches optimal operating conditions for the exhaust-gas treatment system so that its emissions are improved in real driving conditions.
Audi reported directly and in detail on the facts it discovered to Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt / KBA) and suggested a software update to be carried out in the context of a recall, which is already being prepared. On this basis, the KBA has given instructions for a recall. The software is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018 following comprehensive winter testing, and will then be quickly implemented after approval by and in close consultation with the authorities. During the testing, it will be ensured that the new software has no disadvantages for customers in terms of fuel consumption or performance. This will also be coordinated with the regulatory authorities.
The update affects 4,997 vehicles in Europe, of which 3,660 are in Germany from the production period of September 2013 until August 2017. This model type has no longer been produced since then. Audi has been systematically examining all combinations of diesel engines and transmissions in its cars since the end of last year.
Audi and HERE Technologies continue to integrate their services for even greater customer benefit. In the new Audi A8 luxury sedan, the automobile manufacturer offers an array of technologies and services created by the map developer. Audi participates in HERE together with other companies. Both sides plan to intensify their collaboration in future.
The progress is already evident in the map view with direct destination input: The latest version of Audi’s modular infotainment platform (MIB2+) offers a navigation map with much clearer graphics. It combines highly detailed 3D models of cities worldwide with correspondingly realistic representations of many buildings.
One of the highlights is the new hybrid navigation. Route calculation takes place primarily online on HERE’s servers, and in parallel on board the car. It takes account of the overall traffic picture throughout a region. The system even includes events far off the planned route if they could potentially have an impact on it. Information is permanently updated at frequent intervals. The data transfer between the car and the HERE backend uses the currently fastest mobile communications standard LTE Advanced. This constant exchange and the high computing power of the HERE servers create scope for new functions: If the driver discovers that a section of their route becomes blocked at short notice, they can obtain a local diversion directly and very easily. If they want to change the suggested route, they can enlarge the section in question on the display, then simply trace the new route with their finger and activate it.
The new myAudi smartphone app also uses HERE navigation software and seamlessly synchronizes navigation destinations and favorites with the car via the cloud. This enables the customer to start destination input from their smartphone before they even get into the car. The myAudi app takes them to the car, the navigation system continues route guidance in the car with no need for an additional, separate procedure and the app then guides the driver on to their destination address once the car has been parked.
The navigation software in the car uses the HERE database and also evaluates information on the course of the road. This includes the number and direction of lanes, the edges of the roadway, bends, descents and inclines, junctions, roundabouts and city limits. This data is used by various safety, convenience and efficiency functions such as predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC) and predictive efficiency assist PEA. The central driver assistance controller (zFAS) also processes the data. The controller receives the road data along the route from the navigation system, merges this with the data picked up by the on-board sensors and uses the results to determine e.g. the exact position of the car in its lane. The map data in the Audi A8 is updated automatically every three months over the permanent online connection.
In the medium term, Audi will also team up with HERE for traffic sign information and hazard information, which are car-to-X services from the connect portfolio. The Audi models A4, A5, Q5 and Q7 use their on-board sensors to gather this information on speed limits and hazard points. At the moment, the information is still collected on Audi servers, processed and made available to Audi drivers.
AUDI AG, in a consortium with the BMW Group and Daimler AG, purchased HERE Technologies, one of the leading software companies for digital navigation maps and location-based services, from the Nokia Corporation at the end of 2015. HERE is designed as an open platform and currently employs around 8,000 people worldwide. Since its takeover by the consortium, the company has steadily been expanding its network of expertise in IT through new participations and strategic partnerships.
One of HERE’s main projects is the HD Live Map. This provides the digital basis for future piloted driving. The new data platform describes the traffic space as a three-dimensional model with unprecedented precision. It is accurate down to the centimeter rather than the meter, and dynamic rather than static. The HERE HD Live Map is currently in the setup phase, and the new Audi A8 is already prepared for this technology.
Listening to music becomes a sensory experience in the new Audi A8. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System now also brings the unique acoustic character of pure 3D sound to the rear seats. The brand with the four rings thus offers first-rate sound quality in the top segment.
Luxury is audible. The new generation of the Audi A8 demonstrates this in impressive style – with the Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System. It supplies 23 loudspeakers featuring ultra-light and therefore low-distortion neodymium magnets that produce an airy, high-resolution sound pattern. The effect is impressive, especially when reproducing a classical concert of high recording quality: The interior is transformed into a broad stage where the music unfolds exactly how it was recorded in the concert hall – without any artificial effects. The sound is authentic and emotional. That is the top priority of Audi’s audio specialists, making sound quality a fitting reflection of the brand philosophy.
The sound system in detail
The brand with the four rings first introduced 3D sound in the Audi Q7 in 2015. In the new A8 it now extends the evolutionary version to include the rear compartment of the car. Two full-range loudspeakers in the A-pillars and two in the headlining above the rear seats supply the spatial dimension of height and develop the surround sound into the perfect stereophonic experience. The 1,920-watt amplifier by Bang & Olufsen, which operates highly efficiently thanks to ICEpower technology, generates the 3D sound with its digital signal processor. It produces little waste heat and therefore abundant audio output – as is audibly evidenced in the detailed sound pattern. Above all, it amplifies the signal of the woofers, which reproduce sound that is especially energy-laden, such as a low note from an organ.
When the infotainment system is switched on, the two tweeters extend electrically out of the instrument panel. Thanks to Acoustic Lens Technology from Bang & Olufsen, they ensure that the sound is distributed in a horizontal 180-degree fan. Individual amplifier channels supply each loudspeaker. To produce the 3D sound, the new sound system draws on an algorithm that Audi has developed in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen. It uses stereo or 5.1 recordings to calculate the information for the third dimension and processes it for the four 3D loudspeakers. This occurs dynamically; in other words, the algorithm adapts individually to the recording to avoid causing any distortion to the sound.
Widely configurable acoustic backdrop
Using the MMI system as well as a separate operating unit for the rear passengers that resembles a smartphone, the sound setting can be optimized as preferred – with a specific focus on the front or rear seats, or all seats. The rear-focused setting enables the rear passengers to enjoy the best possible quality of 3D and surround sound. As well as treble and bass, the occupants can also adjust the subwoofer volume independently of all other loudspeakers. Then there is a special function for film sound tracks, known as Movie Set. The 5.1 sound track plays in the same quality as in front of a big screen in the cinema. The system localizes every voice individually and adjusts the balance accordingly. For instance, if a character appears to the right of the picture, their voice is also played from the right.
Challenges in development
Work on the concept for the sound systems for the new Audi A8 started very early on in the development process. “Integrating the loudspeakers at the right points in the car is the key to 80 percent of the audio quality,” explains Wolfram Jähn, sound/acoustics developer for the A8. “They need to be mounted as rigidly as possible, so we fixed the subwoofer in the rear panel, which is made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The aim is to isolate the loudspeaker from the body and prevent any vibrations from being transmitted.” The speaker grilles are another vital factor. For these components, Audi’s designers and sound engineers worked closely with the developers from Bang & Olufsen. The grilles need to have maximum acoustic transparency while also performing their protective function. It is all about striking the right balance between open and closed surface. In the Audi A8, precision-perforated covers of double-anodized aluminum adorn the loudspeakers in the front and rear doors. White LED light guides illuminate the woofers. The basis for top-quality sound systems is the quality of every individual component.
A dedicated team
High-end sound is an Audi core competence. Its collaboration with Bang & Olufsen began at the turn of the millennium. From 2005, the A8 was available optionally with the Advanced Sound System by the Danish specialist. This meant Audi was the first carmaker to be able to supply a factory-fitted high-end sound system.
In the new Audi A8, Bang & Olufsen now supplies both the Advanced and the Premium Sound System. When the door is opened, a hearty audio jingle composed specially for the A8 greets passengers. Meanwhile the ambient lighting presents the interior of the luxury sedan in unique style.
“We seek out the best partner for every project,” remarks Mario Fresner, Head of Sound Development at AUDI AG. The Fraunhofer Institute also plays a decisive role in this process. Mario Fresner explains: “Bang & Olufsen performs basic tuning of the system at its premises. We independently conduct in-depth development work on the system and its components here in Ingolstadt. The 3D coordination work then takes place in Erlangen. Everyone involved has the same ambitious aim: to offer our customers the best possible sound system – one that is technically extremely sophisticated and capable of conveying the emotion that resides in the music.”
Audi has issued invitations to its own brand exhibition to take place on July 11, 2017. On a total area of more than 10,000 square meters, the first Audi Summit will showcase pioneering solutions for the urban mobility of tomorrow – from premium mobility services to piloted driving and parking. 2,000 guests from all over the world will also experience the premiere of the brand’s new flagship, the Audi A8.
Major Audi brand event plots path to becoming the premium digital car company
Live transmission of the Audi Summit via satellite, Internet and smart TV
Next Tuesday, Barcelona will be the setting for a world premiere. At the first Audi Summit, the premium brand will present some innovations along its path to becoming the premium digital car company. Attended by 2,000 opinion leaders from all over the world, the Ingolstadt-based company will also present its new flagship, the Audi A8. Friends and fans of the brand worldwide will follow the event live on July 11 from 09:30 a.m. (CEST) onwards on www.audimedia.tv.
Audi will transmit the event live via satellite, on the Internet and via smart TV. A recording plus TV footage will be available after the end of the event at www.audimedia.tv.
Audi Summit – The Event
Tuesday July 11, 2017 09:30 a.m. (CEST)
Fully active suspension for maximum comfort and dynamism
48-volt main electrical system powers electromechanical suspension system
Dynamic all-wheel steering resolves the conflict of aims between agility and stability
Global first: Raising the body during a side impact improves passive safety
The new Audi A8 proves itself a versatile performer on the road. Thanks to its active suspension, it provides comfort-oriented customers with a chauffeur-driven sedan offering a stylishly smooth ride. The enthusiastic owner-driver can relish the characteristics of a sports car. This flexibility is made possible thanks to the new active suspension based on the 48-volt electrical system, which is used for the first time as the main electrical system. The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11.
The all-new active suspension on the Audi A8 is a fully active, electromechanical suspension system, which drives each wheel individually and adapts to the prevailing road conditions. Each wheel has an electric motor which is powered by the 48-volt main electrical system. Additional components include gears, a rotary tube together with internal titanium torsion bar and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) on the suspension via a coupling rod.
Thanks to the front camera, the luxury sedan detects bumps in the road early on and predictively adjusts the active suspension. Even before the car reaches a bump in the road, the preview function developed by Audi transmits the right amount of travel to the actuators and actively controls the suspension. In this way the suspension reacts precisely at the right time, virtually completely eliminating any vibrations and jolts. This complex process takes just a few milliseconds, with the camera generating information about the road surface condition 18 times a second. The electronic chassis platform (ECP) processes the road surface information and precisely controls all suspension components almost in real time. In conjunction with the air suspension fine-tuned for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an entirely new driving experience in this way. Irrespective of the high level of comfort, the new luxury sedan sits close to the road even with a dynamic driving style.
The active suspension specifically influences and minimizes rolling movements when cornering, and pitching movements when braking or accelerating, for instance. The customer can drive dynamically while keeping the vehicle under control or work undisturbed in the rear.
The innovative combination of dynamic and rear axle steering resolves the conflict of aims between agility and stability in the shape of dynamic all-wheel steering: The steering characteristics are sporty and direct while ensuring a high level of handling stability; the steering feel encompasses a wide spread from comfortable through to intense feedback. The turning circle of the A8 is smaller than that of an A4.
In conjunction with the Audi pre sense 360˚ safety system, the active suspension on the new Audi A8 takes passive safety to a new level. The system uses the sensors networked in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) to detect risks of a collision around the car. In the event of an imminent side impact at more than 25 km/h (15.5 mph) the suspension actuators raise the body on the exposed side by up to 80 millimeters (3.1 in) within half a second. As a result, the collision is directed to the even stronger areas of the luxury sedan, such as side sills and floor structure. Hence the load on the occupants is reduced by up to 50 percent compared with a side impact where the body is not raised.