Audi's Frankfurt concepts preview each level of autonomy
As you might expect, one of them is a crossover.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is on Audi's home turf, and the company is set to roll out multiple autonomous concepts to give us an idea of what to expect from it over the next decade.
Audi will have three vehicles at the Frankfurt Motor Show that showcase the final three stages of autonomy -- Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5. The Level 3 semi-autonomous car is one we've already seen, the 2019 Audi A8. Its system is capable of taking control from the driver in traffic jams up to 37 mph. And while the driver must remain alert, the system will make it clear when it's time for the human to take control again.
The first of two new concepts explores Audi's idea of a car with Level 4 autonomy. Level 4 is when the vehicle acts as its own fallback, but it still allows human driving in certain modes. Based on the E-tron Sportback concept, the vehicle features V2X communication and is capable of controlling the car at speeds up to 80 mph. Three electric motors give it about 496 horsepower, which seems ample.
At the tip-top of the autonomy scale is Level 5, when the vehicle is in control of driving and monitoring at all times. Audi will debut a second concept that wields this technology. Since humans won't be doing the driving, expect a car loaded with tech that gives you other ways to pass the time. Built for long distances, this electric self-driver has a range between 435 and 497 miles.
Audi has even more in store for Frankfurt, so long as you're cool with gas engines and cars that require human drivers. There'll be a new Avant wagon to enjoy, as well as a limited Audi Sport model with rear-wheel drive. Considering how hardcore Audi is about its Quattro all-wheel drive system, that RWD car is bound to be something special. We'll find out next week, so keep your eyes peeled.