Firm will enter a self-driving TTS in the Pikes Peak hillclimb next year
11 November 2009

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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11 November 2009

i love this kind of technology.

The public dont like new things though, especially if they don't understand it or are afraid of it. if it ran over a group of spectators killing them all, then there would be a backlash and it could scupper the development. But accidents happen with everything, just need to accept them and carry on. Motorsport is dangerous anyway.

A rally seems a very bizzare and difficult challenge for this kind of car to do, with any speed anyway. surely they should enter it onto a tarmac racing circuit instead which is either wet or dry but has the same type surface all around, and it could learn where the kerbs are and how to go over them quickly and in control.

If the technology really is this far advanced its awesome.

i guess they are thinking of using it as safety device on mass produced road cars.

11 November 2009

[quote beachland2]i love this kind of technology.[/quote]

I understand it and am certainly not afraid of it, but there is no way I think this should be applied to a car.

I enjoy driving - the more basic the better - and electronic intervention like this is not the way we should be looking to the future. If this sort of thing catches on in normal production vehicles, then driving as we know it will be dead and I for one do not want that!



It's all about the twisties........

11 November 2009

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!)

11 November 2009

Vorsprung durch Technik

11 November 2009

"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...

11 November 2009

The technology doesnt have to take over from what we already have, it can just add to it as an option. Same for motorsport its just extra.

The reason we dont have super high down force F1 cars with 3000bhp is because of safety.

With this technology on new circuits or on exisitng ones where spectaros can keep a good distance we could watch cars battle each other on a 20 car grid at super high speeds and cornering at extreme G-forces that would knock out a human. It would be interesting to watch. Especially if there are different teams with various types of car, or even some input remotely from real "pilots".

I would like to watch it on TV as part of a days racing shown on ITV4 for example, after the BTCC race are the Sound barrier breaking Autonomous racing series.

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