We're not quite sure what connects Peter Parker to a flagship luxury sedan with allegedly the most advanced self-driving technology in a production car yet, but moviegoers will find out soon enough. Audi announced the next generation of its A8 will show up in "Spider-Man: Homecoming," due in theaters July 7. That's a few days ahead of the A8's global debut in Spain on July 11.
Audi appears to play a significant role in the movie, where Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark drives (yet again) an R8, Tom Holland's Peter Parker drives the TTS Roadster and Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan chauffeurs Parker around in the A8. In one particular scene, Audi says Hogan takes his hands off the wheel and the sedan drives itself — a capability of the A8's Traffic Jam Pilot feature, which will "allow the A8 to take over the task of driving for short periods of time," Audi says.
The specifics are still under wraps, but the A8's purported capabilities should tickle your spidey sense (that only sounds NSFW). Audi claims it will be the world's first mass-market Level 3 car, a reference to SAE International's six levels of automated driving (Level Zero to Level 5). In Level 3, the vehicle — not the driver — monitors the surroundings with an "expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene," per SAE.
That distinguishes the A8 even from advanced autonomous systems like Cadillac's forthcoming Super Cruise, which can drive hands-free in certain conditions but still requires the driver to monitor what's around the car. Cadillac says Super Cruise is technically still Level 2.
As for the practical execution of all of this, well, that's up to Audi to explain come July 11.