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Audi's steering assistance functions offer added safety for everyday driving - especially when changing lanes, manoeuvring, and parking.

18 May 2021 | International News : Germany


The steering wheel is almost as old as the automobile itself. It is no surprise, then, that the technology behind it has become mind-blowingly sophisticated. While Audi's engineers have developed the optimum combination of dynamic handling and comfort, Audi's steering assistance functions offer added safety for everyday driving - especially when changing lanes, manoeuvring, and parking. The steering wheel is increasingly emerging as a communication device, growing beyond its original purpose and toward that of a high-tech command centre.

Today's Audi drivers operate up to 18 functions via buttons that control a multitude of systems, from communication to infotainment features. All steering wheels offered across Audi's entire lineup feature the brand's signature sporty look, lie ergonomically in the driver's hands, and offer high functionality paired with intuitive operation.

The technology behind the steering wheel has become mind-blowingly sophisticated
Audi's latest generation of steering wheels consists of a diecast frame that is significantly lighter than steel constructions, offering advantages with respect to strength, dampening characteristics, and castability. Capacitive grip recognition, which supports assisted steering interventions, is present in the steering wheels of all new Audi models.

A sensor pad underneath the outer layer of foam in the steering wheel rim can detect if the driver has his or her hands on the wheel. If the wheel goes longer than 15 seconds without being touched, a series of visual and acoustic warnings will occur. 

The rim, which is flattened on the top and bottom, gives the interior a distinctly futuristic effect
The steering wheel in the new Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback sets new standards in design, ergonomics, and functionality. Its 18 functions are operated by backlit touch screens mounted on the steering wheel itself. The wheel's rim, which is flattened on the top and bottom for the first time, gives the interior a distinctly futuristic effect.

More significantly, both e-tron's steering wheels feature axial offset. That means that the steering wheel is displaced by 7.5mm above the steering wheel hub, optimising the driver's view of the controls and creating space for getting in and out of the vehicle. 

The steering wheel in the new Audi e-tron range sets new standards in design, ergonomics, and functionality
Assistance systems aid the driver in critical situations with corrective steering interventions. On top of Adaptive Cruise Control, Audi's Traffic Jam Assist intervenes at speeds up to 65km/h in vehicles with an automatic transmission. The system guides the car through gentle steering movements and orients itself to lane markings, roadside structures, and other vehicles. 

Similarly, Park Assist assumes completely automatic steering. After the vehicle's ultrasonic sensors identify an appropriate perpendicular or parallel parking space, Park Assist steers the vehicle in. The driver only needs to accelerate, change gears, brake, and supervise the parking procedure.

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