Fully autonomous Audi TTS

There is a new development by VAIL, Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab, that is attempting to use an autonomous Audi TTS driven by a computer for driving up the Pikes Peak hill climb in 2010. This Audi TTS holds the world land speed record at 130 mph for autonomously driven vehicles. It knows how to drift, accelerate, brake, park, and more! This is the future of auto pilot vehicles, and it's closer than most of us think.

How does it work? 

It can work either one of two ways or a combination of both. Typically, there are sensors that detect the vehicles movement and compare this data to external sensors that pick up objects. This is how automated parking works, in combination with a camera lens that picks up images. On these images, pixel analyzing software detects the lines in the road, or the curb and compares this data with the other external and motion sensors sending the appropriate stop, accelerate, turn information to other various activation servos. However, for track style automation a combination of the above plus a program of needed functions to complete the course could be used. By simply programming X style turn in X amount of feet, followed by X amount of feet and then another X style turn; the course could be programmed. This is only the basics as I see it and involves much more detail such as road camber, surface type, traction information, corner radius and more.

Why race up Pikes Peak?
If this robot car can manage one of the toughest rally course challenges, it can surely manage the interstates and roads of the world. Crash avoidance is key, and by using a computer to autonomously commute it will reduce the traffic death rate enormously. How many escape routes can the human brain think of? Not as many as a computer, plus the robot behind the wheel is never drunk, tired, or distracted by outside influence. Auto pilot for cars is coming, and it's just around the corner! Check out this preview video of the Robotic Audi TTS as it prepares for the 2010 Pikes Peak hill climb event. Good luck to the VAIL crew, the whole world is watching you!

Video content: robotic Audi TTS by VAIL

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Source: Tampa Sports Car Examiner

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