What Is Audi Pre Sense?

Thom Blackett | Apr 28, 2021

Take a look at the vehicles traveling down any highway in America, and you’ll quickly realize that we all have different shopping criteria when it comes to car buying. Some of us want speed, others towing capability, and a few even opt for Lime Green paint. But one thing is for sure: all new cars are loaded with safety systems that operate in the background to prevent collisions.

With that in mind, let’s examine one of the leading suites of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) available and answer this question: What is Audi Pre Sense?

What is Audi Pre Sense Basic? - Find the best Audi deals!

Pre Sense Basic is what you’d consider the entry-level version of the Pre Sense technology, and it is standard on most Audi models

Audi Pre Sense Basic

Relatively low-tech, Pre Sense Basic uses sensors that trigger the electronic stability control system to react when the driver forcefully applies the brakes. In response, electric motors pretension – or tighten – the front seatbelts in preparation for a possible accident. Also, Basic turns on the hazard lights, shuts the windows, and closes the sunroof (if equipped).

This version of Pre Sense does not help a driver avoid a collision. Instead, it prepares the cabin for impact to decrease the possibility of serious injury if one should occur.

What is Audi Pre Sense Front? - Find the best Audi deals!

As with Pre Sense Basic, sudden and hard braking will cause the Audi Pre Sense Front system to engage the seatbelt pretensioners, activate the hazard lights, and close any open windows. However, before initiating that process, Pre Sense Front takes steps to lessen the effects of an accident or prevent it from happening. 

Audi Pre Sense Front

This safety technology is also standard on most Audi models. It uses a radar-linked forward-collision warning system that monitors the road ahead and, according to the automaker, detects pedestrians at speeds up to 52.8 mph or other vehicles at speeds up to 155.3 mph. 

If it detects a possible collision, Pre Sense Front will respond in one of four escalating ways:

  • Forward-collision warning produces an audible alert and displays a message on the gauge cluster
  • Automatically applies slight brake pressure and briefly shakes the steering wheel
  • Applies additional brake pressure, turns on the hazard lights, closes the windows, and activates the seatbelt pretensioners
  • Applies maximum brake pressure and fully tightens the seatbelts

In any of the first three instances, the driver may intervene by braking or steering away from the object in his path. If Pre Sense Front reaches that fourth step, it has determined that a collision is unavoidable and shifts to protecting the car’s occupants.

What is Audi Pre Sense City? - Find the best Audi deals!

While the Pre Sense Front system uses radar and operates at a wide range of speeds, Audi Pre Sense City receives input from a windshield-mounted camera and operates at speeds no greater than 52.8 mph. Availability is limited to the Audi A4/S4, A5/S5, and Q5.

Audi Pre Sense City

For the most part, the two systems share functionality, though there is one significant difference: Audi claims Pre Sense City can prevent accidents altogether at speeds below 25 mph. To accomplish this, the camera scans up to 328.1 feet ahead of the vehicle. It then alerts the driver if there is possible danger. 

What is Audi Pre Sense Rear? - Find the best Audi deals!

Audi Pre Sense Rear is essentially the same thing as Pre Sense Basic but with rear parking sensors. The parking sensors warn the driver when the vehicle is getting too close to an object while backing up. 

Audi Pre Sense Rear

In some vehicles, Audi integrates these sensors with rear automatic braking and self-parking systems. In this case, the sensors monitor action behind the car when traveling down the road at any speed. 

If the sensors detect a likely impact from a vehicle approaching from the rear, visual and audible alerts warn the driver of the danger. Pre Sense Rear tensions the seatbelts, closes the windows, and rapidly flashes the hazard lights in what we now see as standard protocol. If equipped, the memory seats adjust to provide optimal safety for the car’s occupants.

What is Audi Pre Sense Side? - Find the best Audi deals!

Audi Pre Sense Side is perhaps the most impressive member of the Pre Sense family. It uses a cross-traffic warning system to track the movements of vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists that may interfere with the driver’s path of travel. If a collision seems likely, Pre Sense Side follows the steps of Pre Sense Basic.

Audi Pre Sense Side

When installed in vehicles with an active suspension system, such as the Audi A8, this bit of tech adds a unique safety feature. When a vehicle or object approaches from the side at speeds above 15.5 mph, Pre Sense Side raises the air suspension on the impact side of the car just over three inches. 

Audi suggests this movement redirects the collision forces to the strongest areas of the body structure, allowing the vehicle to absorb more of the crash energy. As a result, occupants are better protected.

What is Audi Pre Sense 360? - Find the best Audi deals!

Audi Pre Sense 360 bundles the individual systems together to create a complete safety perimeter. Sensors and cameras monitor what’s happening from the front, rear, and side to detect potential collisions and react accordingly.

Summary - Find the best Audi deals!

With Pre Sense, Audi demonstrates its commitment to the safety of passengers in its vehicles and the pedestrians and cyclists they encounter.

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