The new Audi A8 is the first car to ever hit the market with Level 3 autonomous capabilities. While most countries don’t have the legislation that will actually allow Level 3 autonomy, the Audi A8 is completely capable of it. Much of the success of the A8’s self-driving tech is attributed to a man by the name of Alejandro Vukotich, Audi’s now-former Vice President of Automated Driving. Vukotich has now left the company after the release of his best project yet.
Vukotich has been with the VW Group for 19 years, so he’s a veteran of the brand. And while he’s done some incredible work for Audi, his time with the brand is now done. “I am privileged to have had the opportunity to lead the best ADAS [Advanced Driver Assistance Systems] development team and together pushed the edges of technology towards more advanced levels of automated driving,” Vukotich told CNET’s Roadshow.
The Audi A8 uses what’s called zFAS, which is a sort of central nervous system for the A8 and it’s what Vukotich is most proud of. It is capable of combining a lidar system, camera, radar, multi-axis accelerometers and other sensors to create a 3D, 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings, which allows it to know exactly what’s around it and move throughout its environment effortlessly.
As of right now, Audi has yet to find a replacement for Vukotich, who put in for his leave on March 22. So he wasn’t let go but left voluntarily. One wonders if he left to work for a different brand, one that saw the work he did for Audi and hawked him.
And the work he did for the Audi A8 is nothing short of remarkable. It’s the most advanced self-driving car on the road and the first to hit the market with its level of tech, despite other brands like Tesla making bigger waves. Hopefully Audi is able to keep up his good work in the future, as self-driving technology is becoming more and more important in the marketplace, even if legislature is far slower to advance.