Driverless Audi RS7 Laps Hockenheim
It’s terrifying enough being in a car travelling at 150mph under any circumstances, but imagine being in a car which is driving itself at 150mph while lapping an F1 Grand Prix circuit.
Audi have set new standards by doing just that with their ‘Piloted Driving’ concept technology, or witchcraft as it should be called.
In short, the driverless Audi RS7 uses GPS and 3D cameras to map the road ahead and choose the best racing line through the corner. It lapped Hockenheimring in just over 2 minutes, with the car’s computers placing the 4.0-litre V8 monster into corners with centimetre accuracy.
For orientation on the track, the car uses specially corrected GPS signals. The GPS data is then transmitted to the vehicle via WiFi according to the automotive standard and redundantly via high-frequency radio.
Working in parallel to the GPS, 3D cameras in the car film the track, and a computer program compares the cameras’ image information against a data set stored on board.
Audi are really pushing their piloted driving tech and have been developing it for over 10 years now. Side assist, lane assist and radar cruise control are already available on Audi’s top cars and is steadily trickling down the range. We will of course bring you more information on the technology when we hear about it.
If you’re panicking a bit at the thought of a car that needs no human input whatsoever, then you might not want to read about the 44-tonne self-driving lorry that Mercedes are planning to release in 2025.
Is this a glimpse into motor racing of the future? We hope not, but at least there would be no egos, no Jackie Stewart and it would put an end to the insufferable post-race interviews in Formula 1.
Tell us what you think!