Currently reading: Audi's autonomous TT rally car
Firm will enter a self-driving TTS in the Pikes Peak hillclimb next year

Audi will enter an autonomous TTS rally car in next year's Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado.

The TTS is being developed by Volkswagen’s Electronics Research lab, Stamford University and Sun Microsystems with the aim of producing a car capable of driving autonomously at the speeds and style normally expected of a professional rally driver.

See the hi-res pics of the autonomous Audi TTS

Audi will convert the TT-S to fly by wire controls and ensure the car remains safe and reliable without a driver on board. Stamford and Sun Microsystems are jointly developing new control systems that allow the car to perform as a normal rally car on a variety of different surfaces.

A system is also being developed that will shutdown the car automatically if it detects the running conditions are no longer safe or if the car is out of control.

Audi has named the car Shelley, which refers to the nickname of Michelle Mouton, the most successful female rally driver of all time and the first woman to win at Pikes Peak. She won the event behind the wheel of the Audi Sport Quattro in 1985.

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optimal_909 11 November 2009

Re: Audi's autonomous TT rally car

"driving as we know it will be dead and I for one do not want that!"

I think this is a long way off and there will be a transition period (would be fun to take your classic Mustang/Delta HF/whatever for a blast in an automated traffic of bubble cars), but watching the performance of an average driver this isn't necessarily a bad thing...

coolboy 11 November 2009

Re: Audi's autonomous TT rally car

Vorsprung durch Technik

4rephill 11 November 2009

Re: Audi's autonomous TT rally car

Pikes Peak is about a man pushing his machine to the limit, risking the ultimate sacrfice (his life) in an affort to go quicker up the mountain than his fellow man, purely for the thrill of it.

People stand in awe of the drivers ability to control these monster machines.

The only people who will stand in awe of a computer and a gps system doing something similar are geeks and nerds.

And no, it's not that I don't understand the technology or that I'm scared of it, the thing is that I understand what the challenge of Pikes Peak is, which is apparently more than these boffins do!.

(Mind you, if this car falls off the side of the mountain and disintergrates, I'll absolutely p**** Myself laughing!)