Audi won another award toward the end of 2017, with Automotive News Europe honoring Alejandro Vukotich, head of Automated Driving Development at Audi, with the Eurostar 2017 award.
The automotive trade magazine recognized the 46-year old for the Audi AI traffic jam pilot. With this, the brand with the four rings takes the lead in autonomous driving. The new Audi A8 is the first production car in the world developed for conditional automated driving at Level 3.
On highways and multi-lane expressways with physical barriers, the Audi AI traffic jam pilot handles driving in slow – moving traffic up to 60 kph. It handles starting from a stop, accelerating, steering and braking in its lane. If the driver activates the system, and if current national regulations allow it, the driver can turn his or her attention to other activities that are supported by the on-board infotainment system. Behind the Audi AI traffic jam pilot are innovative technologies, including the new sensor set with a laser scanner and the central driver assistance controller.
Vukotich joined Audi in 1999 and began his career as a developer of driver assistance systems. He has been responsible for their use across model lines since 2009. He has been head of Automated Driving Development since the start of 2017.
Q5 as family car
In September 2017, the Q5 won the Family Car of the Year 2017 from the magazines AUTO Straßenverkehr and Leben & erziehen.
A total of 18,270 readers selected their favorite models in seven different price categories. The Audi Q5 easily took top honors in the “35,000 to 40,000 euros” category with 30.9 percent of the votes. Voters could select from a total of 152 station wagons, vans and SUVs. For the overwhelming majority of respondents, roominess was the most important purchase criterion. A large luggage compartment topped the wish list for 89 percent of the respondents; 78 percent said generous interior space was crucial in their purchasing decision. Among readers who were planning to buy a new car, the SUV held a clear lead with 31 percent. Station wagons and vans were each named by 23 percent.
In September 2017 for the fourth time, readers of auto motor und sport and Chip computer magazine selected their favorite technology relating to the connected car. More than 16,000 participants selected the best systems in 11 categories. Audi received two prizes: one for the Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 loudspeakers, 705 watts and acoustic adaptation to background noise; and secondly, the innovation prize for the Audi AI traffic jam pilot in the new A8.
The fourth generation of the luxury sedan is the first car in the world to enable conditional automated driving at Level 3 and, in specific situations, assumes the task of driving. While the traffic jam pilot starts, accelerates, steers and brakes, the driver can – depending on national regulations – watch a film on the 10.1 – inch display in the center console, answer emails, write text messages, update their appointment calendar or read the news –a big relief in a traffic jam.
In addition, Audi achieved second place with its voice recognition system in the “telephone integration” category, with the Audi connect SIM in the “entertainment/multimedia” category, with the predictive adaptive cruise control in the “convenience assistance systems” category, and with Audi pre sense city in the “safety assistance systems” category.
A ‘golden classic’
Also in September 2017, readers of the trade magazine Auto Bild Klassik in the voting for the Golden Classic Car awards had Audi winning first prize in the Sedan category with the Ro 80 model of its former brand NSU. The luxury model had a clear lead with 33.6 percent of the votes. The NSU Ro 80 debuted in 1967 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. That same year it became the first German automobile to be named Car of the Year by an international jury. The Ro 80 set new standards in road handling, comfort, safety and performance. The futuristic, wedge – shaped lines of its body are still considered a milestone in automobile design even today. The model was produced from 1967 to 1977 in Neckarsulm. During this time, a total of 37,406 units rolled off the assembly line.
Audi infotainment system gets award
In October 2017 and for the second time, Audi won the Infotainment System of the Year award by Business Insider. The Audi MMI system impresses with a diverse range of audio functions, precise navigation via Google Maps, Bluetooth integration, Audi Connect 4G LTE connection and a wealth of apps. Also decisive for the win were the voice controls, which experts call state-of-the-art, and the intuitive as well as safe operation while driving. Many functions can be controlled with the multifunction steering wheel, along with the views in the Audi virtual cockpit. It transforms the analog instrument cluster into a digital screen that adapts to the customer’s wishes and needs.
In November 2017, the German edition of ROBB REPORT magazine awarded its first-ever Luxury Award 2018 for the best luxury car of the year, with the prize for the best production sedan going to the Audi A8. Its combination of materials, design and innovative solutions won over the independent, international jury:
The experts praised the Audi AI traffic jam pilot. While the system does the driving, the driver can carry out other practical activities and use his or her time sensibly. A total of 12 awards were presented in six categories, including 10 for new luxury cars and two to classic automobiles.
Also in November 2017, Audi was showered with other international awards: Car of the Year car sales award in Australia for the Audi Q5 in the Best SUV category, and Audi A4 as the Best Prestige Car; the Q7 won the Australian Drive Car of the Year competition in the Best Luxury SUV category; and A5 Sportback winning two prizes in Brazil – Best imported car of Latin America” in the Americar Awards and Best imported car in the Car Awards Brazil 2018.