Audi robot car takes on and beats human drivers

A demonstration of the Audi driverless car took place at the Sonoma Raceway in San Francisco recently, with the German luxury car maker revealing the advances it has made in this sector.

Audi claims that the robot car completed laps in faster times than the human drivers it was up against. The car travelled the 2.52-mile track in a very quick 2:01:01 minutes, which equates to an average 75.82mph. Audi is not new to testing robot cars; however, it is doing so under increasingly demanding conditions. Audi's first ever driverless test took place in October 2014 on the Hockenheim Ring in Germany, when an RS7 achieved a top speed of 240kmph.

The new generation vehicle, which is nicknamed 'Robby', has an engine with the capability to deliver 520hp. This Audi car is a lot lighter than the older version - 400kg lighter - and the conditions of the recent display were a lot harsher. The Sonoma Racetrack is known to be one of the world's most demanding.

It is not all about testing on the racetrack for Audi, however, as earlier this year an A7 drove from Silicon Valley to the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The same car dealt with some chaotic rush hour travel conditions in Shanghai, China.

Audi has stated that the next A8 saloon will have the capability to take over from the driver in certain situations, including parking, slow stop-and-go traffic, and motorway driving with a maximum speed of 60kmph.