OCT 20th 2014

Audi RS7 drives itself 'at racing speed'... could make the M25 commute quicker

Fine machines though they are, Audis do tend to be accused of lacking a tad in the driver involvement department. It’s almost as if they’ve been thinking about taking the imperfect creatures that operate them out of the equation altogether …

Actually, the whole driverless car thing isn’t new; for some time now we’ve been watching cars manoeuvre around car parks and closed courses with some success. A number of current cars can physically stop themselves from hitting things and even take avoiding action in certain scenarios. What is new in this case is that the boffins from Ingolstadt have managed to make an RS7 lap the Hockenheim Grand Prix track at what Audi describes as ‘racing speed.’  

Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept

‘The top performance by the Audi RS7 today substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi,’ says 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.’

Apparently the lap took ‘slightly over two minutes’ and that the car was operating ‘with high precision and accuracy to within centimetres.’ Highly impressive stuff although the chances of you ever using this technology to get you home at ten-tenths are extremely slim. Where these kind of advances will come in useful though is in the sphere of automatic avoidance functions in critical situations. The fruits of this test will end up adding to the list of current driver-aid systems available on Audis: Audi Side Assist, Audi Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go function including Audi Pre-Sense front.

Go on Audi, give us a ‘Get home from the pub really fast’ system …

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