Regarding my equipped-with-active-suspension dream machine, from our reader/hero Scott Locklin:
I rented a 2018 Audi A8 for 10 days on the Autobahn [459 euro through kayak, 19 percent of which was VAT]. The electronics, as someone noted were pretty good. The HUD with speed limit and directions indicator was a cool feature, though it doesn’t work with polarized sunglasses. Wonder what HUD using pilots use for helmet shades these days; never thought of that before.
Oh yeah, one of your commenters identified that the 3D map view was mighty cool.
The ‘cruise control’ was, as you noted, awful and dangerous. I also disliked the collision avoidance system intensely, and couldn’t figure out how to turn most of it off. Basically it was a simple algorithm hunting for the lines on the road. Unfortunately there were a lot of dangerous ‘damped oscillator’ solutions to this, which boggled my mind, as there should be fairly simple ways to overcome this. The wheel jerking from this algorithm was alarming and possibly dangerous; there was an incident where there was a semi broken down in the traffic lane on the autobahn, and I needed to fight the steering wheel to avoid it. There was no time to signal a lane change which would have prevented the monkey vs machine steering wheel battle. I think the ‘collision’ software might have slammed on the brakes at the last minute had I continued, but that would have been a disaster also.
Another bizarre thing; the ‘collision radar’ in tight parking garages was incredibly loud and had me stopping 2 meters short of where I needed to be in this giant car in tiny euro sized parking spots. I couldn’t turn that off either.
The active suspension, meh, it was OK. Nothing special. It sucked you lower if you press the perf button, and was more billowy otherwise. No real complaints about the ride or steering in either configuration. I prefer the ride of a BMW for fancy car feels. The Audi was less precise. Probably more comfortable. My daily driver is a Subaru, so I’m not exactly cognoscenti tier here.
The here.com was hit and miss; they had me in a cow pasture at one point looking for a famous statue. Off road performance was pretty good though I didn’t realize until I returned it that it goes for $85k and has the “most advanced” autonomous vehicle features in it. Seemed like driving a larger, high performance German Ford LTD [Editor: Ouch! Looks like we’ll be sticking with the Honda Odyssey]