The 2017 Audi A4 has an all-new suite of advanced driver assistance systems, joining Volvo, Honda, Ford and others in making semi-autonomous safety features available in cars we can buy today.
Activating the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems isn’t intuitive; there’s a second stalk under the turn signal stalk where the driver can control these features. But once they’re on, all the most important information is displayed in the full-color heads-up display. Most HUDs show the speed, but the A4 also shows the speed limit (and if it’s a school zone), the lane-keeping assist guidelines and the adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic jam assist activity — and even a little shoe to warn you when your foot is too heavy on the gas pedal.
The ACC works best if you can set it to the speed limit and then let the sensors take care of acceleration and deceleration, all the way to 0 mph. In traffic, the display shows several little green car figures, and the ACC can be restarted by pressing on the accelerator for a second. A little lever on the ACC stalk lets you adjust your following distance.
The A4’s lane-keeping assist works as well as any other I’ve tried, which means it’s mostly okay. It can wander a bit in the lane, which always makes me wonder if people think I’m tipsy or just a terrible driver. It seems that the A4 can quickly recognize when it’s not doing a very good job, and will chime and give a text warning that the driver needs to take control of the steering.
Watch the video above to learn more.