Audi To Over-Complicate Cars With Supercomputers And Repair Costs Could Skyrocket – Top Speed

In all honesty, just about every automaker out there is making a run toward new technology and innovation. It makes our lives easier and safer, they say. And, sometimes it does. The fact that our cars can now automatically control torque distribution between wheels and braking force as needed to prevent the loss of control is amazing. But, you have to take the good with the bad, and the bad in this case is that the replacement of electronics when the fail is expensive, especially on newer cars.

But, with everything separated into somewhat individual units, a single failure doesnt necessarily mean your car is undrivable. Audis new Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Computer, on the other hand, could change all that.

Audis Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Computer is far more sophisticated than anything we have in cars in 2020 even when you look to the most advanced cars like the Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan. The IVDC in future Audis will serve as a central facility or hub for all the cars dynamic systems, from passive safety features like automatic braking and stability control to engine management and door lock control.

Audi claims that its new IVDC is ten times more powerful than the computers found in current models and will be able to control up to 90 different systems.

I bet you didnt know that your car had 90 different controllable systems built into it, did you?

In just a short time from now, Audis new IVDC will land in every car in the brands lineup from the compact A3, all the way up to the Q8 SUV and even its entire offering of EVs.

To give you an example of some of the things the IVDC will control, important systems like torque vectoring and brake regeneration will be on the priority list in electric cars. Performance cars with the RS badge will see it control anti-roll stabilization, active suspension, and engine control.

In short, the IVDC will mark the very first time in automotive history that chassis and powertrain controls are controlled by the same computer.

Its a big step forward, and Audi claims that it will bring a greater range of performance and comfort to its vehicles, but thats only the good side of things.

All of this sounds good in theory, but as a mechanic, I cant help but think about repair costs. Replacing certain control modules on cars today can already be very expensive, so the thought of having everything housed in one unit is concerning. A single failure of the IVDC can render your new car inoperable and, to top it off, the company has you over a barrel once your warranty has passed. Should that IVDC experience any type of failure, you may have no choice but to replace it or be stuck with a car you cant drive potentially one that youre still making payments on. With this being proprietary and new technology, there wont be an aftermarket offering for some time to come, and since its a must-have, Audi will either be able to charge you a small fortune for replacement or push you to trade-in and buy a new car.

I like the idea in theory, and maybe itll work out well, but as an all-new technology, there will be flaws, and until those are ironed out, things could be very dicey. Fortunately, all cars equipped will have some kind of warranty as a bit of a safety shield, but in the end, replacement down the road will still end up being a lot more expensive than replacing one of many stand-alone control units in the event of a random failure.

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Audi To Over-Complicate Cars With Supercomputers And Repair Costs Could Skyrocket - Top Speed

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