Most people who’ve been keeping up with developments in the field of autonomous cars are impressed by various self-driving vehicles moving gingerly around a fake town. But how about an autonomous car racing around a track?
Audi decided to take the leash off its autonomous RS7 and let the car race around all by itself. We first saw the RS7 Piloted Driving Concept just a few days ago when the company announced that it would set it loose on the track with no one at the wheel and see what it could do. And it followed up on that promise by letting the car do a hot lap before the season finale of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
To get around the track, the RS7 Piloted Driving Concept uses specially corrected GPS signals, with the GPS data being transmitted to the car via WiFi. The car then uses 3D cameras to scan the track in real time, with a computer program analyzing and comparing the cameras’ image information against a data set stored in its system. The result allows the car to orient itself on the track with a margin of just a few inches.
“The top performance by the Audi RS7 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.”
What do you think of the autonomous car making the lap? How long do you think it will take before most people are riding in autonomous cars? Would you want an autonomous car or do you prefer to be in control? Respond with your answers below.