Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8

A clean swipe

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Audi A8: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.0 – 5.6 (29.4 – 42.0 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 182 – 145 (292.9 – 233.4 g/mi). Figures on the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions vary in case of given ranges depending on the used combination of wheels/tires. // www.audi.de/DAT-Hinweis

The new adaptive windshield wipers from Audi

Active suspension, touchscreen operating concept and traffic jam pilot – the new Audi A8 features pioneering technologies. The luxury sedan also offers plenty of fine details, including adaptive windshield wipers with integrated washing jets. Audi Blog author Maj-Britt Peters has taken a close look at the new wipers.

Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8
Where the spray from the wiper jets would otherwise block the view, with the adaptive windshield wiper, the driver maintains clear visibility even during the wiping action.

The windshield wipers move rhythmically across the dirty windshield of the Audi A8. The grime disappears as if by magic, without any evidence of spray water. The magic in this case is a new type of windshield wiper technology being used for the first time in the new Audi A8: the adaptive windshield wiper with integrated washing jets.

“The special thing about this new wiper technology is that the driver never has their view obstructed,” said Audi developer Stephan Häfner. The reason: Unlike other systems, the water does not spray from the hood but instead sprays directly onto the windshield from small jets in the wiper arm. The water thus runs directly in front of the wiper blade and is immediately wiped away.

Clear visibility means more saftey

In detail, this means: When the fluid is wiped on, it is above the wiper, and when its wiped away, it is under the wiper. This creates the impression that no water at all is being sprayed. So where the spray from the wiper jets would otherwise block the view, with this system, the driver maintains clear visibility even during the wiping action. “We are taking a big step with the new Audi A8,” Häfner said. “Because better visibility always means greater safety, too.”

Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8
Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8

More than 1.5 million cycles on the test rig

Four years have passed since the first draft of the concept for the new windshield wipers. Since then the system has gone through more than 1.5 million cycles on the test rig, has withstood biting wind and rain-soaked roads in Ireland on a muddy drive, and proved itself during a soiling test in a wind tunnel.

The system also passed the latest tests of the system under real-world conditions with flying colors: Last February it performed impressively – although still in prototype form on production vehicles – in the freezing temperatures, snow and salt-strewn roads of Kaunertal, Austria.

At the test drive, the engineers paint the spray angle of the wiper on the glass to be able to examine the wiping behavior perfectly.

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Unlike other systems, the water does not spray from the hood but instead sprays directly onto the windshield from small jets in the wiper arm.

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Audi developer Stephan Häfner with blog author Maj-Britt Peters at the last test drive for the adaptive windshield wiper in Kaunertal, Austria.

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Regulation of the system according to ambient temperature and degree of soiling

The adaptive wiping and washing system adapts perfectly to the specific conditions, Häfner said: “The wiper software regulates the system according to ambient temperature and degree of soiling.” In summer, lighter soil is removed with less water. In winter, when dirty, salty, wet and cold conditions especially restrict vision, the washing system sprays more water on the windshield, across a larger wiping angle.

Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8
Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8

To achieve effective and homogeneous wiping behavior even at high speeds, the wiper software continuously regulates the spray and output of the system. Starting at a speed of 68 miles per hour, the water is for example placed only behind the wiper, in the shadow zone, so to speak. This way, the software prevents the water from being sprayed through the airstream.

The adaptive windshield wiper cleans highly efficient

The new wiper technology not only improves safety but also is highly efficient. Häfner offers a memorable comparison: “We only need one egg cup full of water to clean the entire windshield.”

Adaptiver Scheibenwischer beim neuen Audi A8

At low temperatures like here in Kaunertal, the wiping and washing system is completely heated.

To ensure maximum visibility even at low temperatures, the wiping and washing system is completely heated. The heating element in the wiper arm prevents icing over, with a maximum power output of 20 watts. With this, the adaptive windshield wipers with integrated washing jets in the new Audi A8 offer a perfect view in any weather or driving situation.

Audi A8
Audi MediaCenter

Audi A8

The new Audi A8 presents the future of the luxury class. In its fourth generation, the brand’s flagship model again provides the benchmark for Vorsprung durch Technik – with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 is also the first production automobile in the world to have been developed for conditional automated driving.nnCombined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 - 5.6 (30.2 - 42.0 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 178 - 145 (286.5 - 233.4 g/mi) (Figures vary depending on engine/wheels/tires)

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