Google’s self-driving cars have been hogging attention since quite some time as they are being tested on the road. They had covered almost 700,000 autonomous miles by April this year. Audi doesn’t seem to be far behind. Audi’s RS 7 driverless car perfectly ran the Formula One track in Germany recently during the DTM season finale.
The Audi RS 7 nicknamed “Bobby” looked like any other racing car that completed a perfect lap at racing speed on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim, Germany. However, the big difference was that the Audi RS 7 was running without a driver.
Audi’s RS 7 piloted driving concept ran the demo lap at 149mph, driven with perfect accuracy and precision only by software. The RS 7 is a 560 horsepower car perfectly took 6 straightways and 17 turns, completing the lap in about 2 minutes, guided by a combination of GPS, 3D cameras, laser scanners, radio transmitters, radar sensors and Wi-Fi.
“The top performance by the Audi RS 7 today substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi. “The derivations from series production, particularly in terms of precision and performance, are of great value for our further development steps.”
However, since actual driving conditions on the road are a lot different than the conditions on the empty race track, one wonders whether such a self-driving car would become successful commercially. But according to the company, “Piloted driving will help relieve the strain of driving and provide greater safety in road traffic while also solving infrastructural traffic problems.”
Watch the Audi RS 7 self-driving car inaction at the Hockenheim track: