You don’t need to be in the new Audi A8 to park it with your phone

Parking can be a real pain, so wouldn’t it be great if you could get out of the vehicle, unlock your smartphone and have your car sort itself out? Well from next year, the new Audi A8 will be able to do just that.

It’s part of the new Audi AI package that the German firm is building into its 2018 A8 saloon, but it’s not just the remote parking pilot that’s being offered up. It can handle parallel parking and parking in bays forwards or backwards.

There’s also remote garage pilot, which is similar to the parking system, allowing the A8 to slide in and out of cover without you having to be in the car.

You don’t even need to have the car in your line of sight, with the myAudi app giving you a live stream from the vehicle’s 360 degree cameras on your phone. You do have to be in a six meter radius of the car for it to work though.

Traffic jam? There's an AI for that

The new A8 can also make traffic jams easier by taking control of the accelerating, steering and braking via the Audi AI traffic jam pilot. It uses radar, ultrasonic and laser sensors along with a front facing camera to make it all work.

The car can operate autonomously at speeds of up to 37mph on freeways and highways that have a physical barrier separating the two directions of traffic. And how do you engage this system? Why, by pressing the AI button on the center console of course!

There's no guarantee the A8 will turn up in your country will all the clever AI systems available though. 

An Audi spokesperson told TechRadar "customer availability [of AI and autonomous functions] is dependent upon the completion of very extensive testing, the development of enabling legal frameworks and the time required for homologation [official confirmation] procedures – these are very different around the world."

The Audi AI system, which offers a wide range of smarts including the parking and traffic jam functions, will be an optional extra on the A8 - which means you'll have to pay extra for it as it won't be included as standard.

Those in Germany will be able to pick up the new Audi A8 before the end of 2017, while UK customers will be able to pre-order from September with the first delivers expected to arrive in early 2018. 

We’re still waiting to hear when it’ll arrive in other markets, and how much it'll set you back.

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  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars - and the tech inside them - available today. From superfast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he'll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.
John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.