Driverless Audi wins race on German test track
In a bid to get the first production driverless car into the showrooms, Audi has been testing unmanned models at speeds of up to 305km/h. As part of the research into this potentially lucrative market, two performance Audi RS7 saloons raced one another around a circuit in Germany; the driverless model won by a clear five seconds.
The whole idea of a car that does not need to be under the control of a driver has many selling points, not least of which is safety. These types of experiments let the car decide on the best line to follow when it takes a corner at speed.
By pushing computer-controlled cars to their limit on the racetrack, Audi is trying to convince the regulators that this type of technology will be extremely safe when used on normal roads at slower speeds.
The future of motoring could well be the automated car and experts have estimated that by as early as 2030 the technology used could become a market worth a staggering $87bn (£54bn). With Audi and its major luxury car rivals all attempting to be the first to deliver an on-road version of the driverless car, the race is well and truly on.
With both Audi and Mercedes getting permission to test this type of vehicle on the roads of California, Audi development chief Ulrich Hackenberg said: "Piloted driving is one of the most important development fields at Audi. It's key on the way toward accident-free driving."