Audi Q3 SUV Boasts ADAS Features, Digital Instrument Cluster

Audi has packed its Q3 SUV with a host of digital controls and displays and numerous advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) options, including lane departure warnings.

The company has done away with the analog instruments and replaced many of them with a ten-inch screen displaying the instrument cluster, which the driver operates on the multi-function steering wheel.

Customers can also upgrade the instrument cluster with additional functions embedded in the company’s MMI operating system.

For example, the plus version also includes an eight-inch touch display in the center of the instrument panel.

A range of hardware supplements the infotainment portfolio, including a phone compartment that links smartphones to the vehicle’s antenna and charges the phone inductively.

The Q3 offers two USB ports — including one Type-C port — while the car’s smartphone interface links iOS and Android-based devices and puts their Car Play or Android Auto platforms onto the MMI display.

In addition, MMI navigation is equipped with natural-language voice control, which understands freely structured wording from the driver or passenger.

The digital concierge asks questions if necessary, allows for corrections, offers choices and — most importantly — defers to the speaker when interrupted.

Meanwhile, an integrated data transfer module supports LTE networks and provides Audi connect services through a SIM card permanently installed in the vehicle.

The Q3 also offers the company’s front safety system, which detects pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles using the radar.

The system will provide the driver with a visual, audible and haptic warning, if necessary, and can also initiate emergency braking.

The lane departure warning is active from speeds of approximately 40 MPH and helps prevent the vehicle inadvertently drifting out of the lane.

If the driver has not set an indicator and the car is about to cross the lane markings, the system assists with corrective steering intervention. As an option, the driver can set the steering wheel to provide an additional vibration.

Among the other ADAS features is adaptive cruise assist, which offers adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist, the last of which incorporates lane change warning.

If the two radar sensors at the rear detect a vehicle located in the blind spot or approaching quickly from behind, a warning LED is lit in the relevant exterior mirror.

Park assist steers the SUV automatically into and out of parking spaces, meaning the driver only has to accelerate, brake and shift gears.

If the driver wants to reverse out of a parallel parking space or a tight entrance, cross traffic assist is activated.

Earlier this month, telecom specialist Huawei and Audi partnered to more deeply integrate the Chinese company’s technology into new connected and self-driving vehicles.

The memorandum of understanding forms part of a broad-based partnership to accelerate the development of ADAS technologies, as well as various connected car services.

In June, Audi subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) announced it is partnering with Cognata, an Israeli tech firm specializing in virtual tests for autonomous vehicle software.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter.

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