> 
 > 
 > 

2010 Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak


Audi has unveiled today a new version of the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak , the car that can drive itself. The new TTS Pikes Peak will make its first high-speed test runs up Pikes Peak in Colorado this fall.

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak is based on a street-ready Audi TTS sports car. An Audi TTS was chosen due to its native systems. The drive-by-wire throttle and a semiautomatic DSG gearbox were a good fit with the electronics that allow the car to drive without human input.

The design of the TTS Pikes Peak was inspired by the rally car themes from the 1980s.

“We were very much inspired by the Pikes Peak race cars,” noted Raul Cenan, Lead Designer on the TTS project. “But there was very different technology used in those cars overall. So we decided to go with more modern elements that were heritage-inspired.“

The hardware added to the TTS is really no different than any laptop computer. The car currently uses two computers in its trunk – one running safety critical algorithms using Oracle’s Real Time Java (Java RTS) and the other running vehicle dynamics algorithms. The two sets of algorithms are what enable the TTS to drive at the limits of handling on a variety of surfaces, speeds and conditions.

The differential GPS system keeps the TTS within two centimeters of its mark on a normal course. Since Pikes Peak is anything, but normal, the research team would like to get that number down to one meter.

The Audi TTS Pikes Peak will also be attempting a Guiness Book of World Record as it makes a land speed attempt at the El Mirage Lake dry-lake bed in southern California or another nearby location in the Fall as well as attempting fastest speed in an autonomous vehicle.

UPDATE 11/19/2010: The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak has climbed Pikes Peak. Hit the jump for the details!

Video and press release after the jump.

Audi’s Autonomous TTS Pikes Peak car has completed the climb to the 14,110-foot Pike Peak summit this September. The project was made possible through collaboration between Audi, Stanford University, the Volkswagen Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California, and Oracle. The self-driving vehicle completed the course in 27 minutes, reaching a top speed of 45mph. While that isn’t going to worry the likes Rhys Millen and Monster Tajima, what is impressive is that race organizers estimate that a TTS with a pro driver at the wheel will take around 17 minutes to complete the arduous course – not bad for a robot.

Check out the video by clicking on the main photo.

Press release

Audi today launched a bold new design for the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak, as research surrounding the car that can drive itself enters a crucial stage before high-speed test runs up Pikes Peak in Colorado this fall.

With the changed appearance, the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak is now squarely aligned with Audi cars that made motorsports history a generation ago in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and other rally racing events.

The new emphasis for the project also honors quattro® technology, which has played an instrumental role in Audi racing successes, has served as a leading example of the progressive engineering found in Audi passenger vehicles and is integral to the handling of the Audi TTS research car. This year marks the 30th anniversary of quattro on the world automotive stage.

Multimedia content of Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak
To find a collection of photos of the research car’s new appearance, please visit http://audiusanews.com/image-gallery.do?method=view&imageGalleryId=185&mid=47
To find b-roll video of the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak, please visit http://audiusanews.com/show-video-gallery.do?method=view&cID=33&key=

The challenge and heritage of Pikes Peak

Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak

The association between Pikes Peak and this research project relates to the original goal of developing advanced algorithms and actuation systems that would allow a car to complete a driving course without a human behind the wheel.

The partners in developing this technology – the Stanford University Dynamic Design Lab (DDL), the Electronics Research Lab (ERL) for the Volkswagen Group in Palo Alto, Calif., and Oracle Corp. – chose the part-pavement, part-gravel route of the storied Pikes Peak race to prove the project’s capabilities.

“Our aim from the start has been to show how the future of driver assistance technologies will lead to dramatic improvements in traffic safety and saving lives,” said Dr. Burkhard Huhnke, Executive Director, ERL. “With this project we are working on electronics that will help drivers steer their way out of dangerous situations. But first we need to create programs that would replicate the quick decisions and rapid maneuvers of the best rally racers under the most difficult road conditions.”

The connection with rally racing provided another key inspiration to the project team.

“Many of the leading automotive technologies we see in our cars today evolved out of motorsports,” said mechanical engineering Associate Professor Chris Gerdes, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, in Palo Alto, Calif. “This is because racing pushes emerging technologies to the limits before they can be adopted more broadly.”

How the Autonomous TTS Pikes Peak works

Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak is based on a street-ready Audi TTS sports car. The team chose the TTS because its native systems, including a drive-by-wire throttle and a semiautomatic DSG gearbox were a good fit with the electronics that allow the car to drive without human input.

The computing hardware added to the TTS research car isn’t significantly more elaborate than what can be found in a standard laptop. The car currently uses two computers in its trunk – one running safety critical algorithms using Oracle’s Real Time Java (Java RTS). The other runs vehicle dynamics algorithms. The two sets of algorithms are what enable the TTS to drive at the limits of handling on a variety of surfaces, speeds and conditions.

The differential GPS system is capable of keeping the TTS within two centimeters of the center line of a normal course; researchers are planning on a one-meter margin on Pikes Peak due to the extreme conditions.

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak gained global recognition last year with a Web video that showcased the car’s ability to execute complex maneuvers on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats without a human behind the steering wheel.

In the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Audi legends were born a generation ago. Audi rally cars, such as the Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak, employed the all-wheel drive technology to win the 12.42-mile “Race to the Clouds” in convincing fashion. The drivers of those Audi quattro rally cars – Bobby Unser, Walter Roehrl and Michele Mouton – earned places in motorsports history at Pikes Peak. In fact, the researchers from Stanford and the Volkswagen Group’s Electronics Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., nicknamed the project “Shelley” after Mouton and her racing exploits.

The Sport quattro S1 also inspired the “S” range of performance models, such as today’s critically acclaimed Audi S4 sedan.

Design challenge – combining the past and the future

Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak

Tying the Audi traditions into a look for the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak became an engaging assignment for Audi designers at the company’s Design Center California in Santa Monica. Several options emerged, including an art car look that depicted the Pikes Peak route in a topographic map covering the body of the TTS.

For the design that was selected, the goal was to pay homage to the past, while conveying the leading-edge technology that defines the TTS research car. Designers decided to give the rally car themes from the 1980s a forward-looking twist, said Sangyup Lee, Chief Designer (Group Exterior) at VW/Audi Group Studio California.

The original rally cars, for example didn’t feature a large four rings logo on their roofs. But the designers used that design cue from modern Audi DTM racing cars in Europe so the brand image would be evident in aerial photos and videos.

“We were very much inspired by the Pikes Peak race cars,” noted Raul Cenan, Lead Designer on the TTS project. “But there was very different technology used in those cars overall. So we decided to go with more modern elements that were heritage-inspired.“

Planned Timeline for the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak

Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak

The highlight of the months ahead for the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak is the planned high-speed testing up Pikes Peak in the fall, weather conditions permitting.

During testing the Pikes Peak course would be divided into segments, which the TTS research car would drive at progressively increasing speeds. Certification of the testing would be done by an independent motorsports organization.

Later in the fall, also weather permitting, the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak plans to make a Guinness Book of World Records land speed attempt at the El Mirage Lake dry-lake bed in southern California or another nearby location.

Officials from the Guinness Book would certify whether the TTS research car can establish a record in the new category of fastest speed in an autonomous vehicle.



28 comments:

Is it, a patrol vehicle or a race car? Anyway, it really looks so cool and awesome with its graphic design; the color is very appropriate with its appearance, which makes it look like a perfect vehicle.

I’m really impressed with the high speed performance of the car. Audi really built an awesome production. I wonder if they have a future plan for the Audi TT?

This vehicle is one of the successful production of Audi. With the awesome styling and impressive engine performance, I bet this is a speedy car.

As expected from Audi, it has an impressive detailing and awesome engine performance. The photos are great I wonder on how it looks on real. I never seen an Audi TTS in the road.

When I first saw this car, all I can say is wow! I like the sportiness of this car and the aggressive exterior. And by just looking at its awesome detailing, no wonder why this car has been the favorite among the aftermarket company!

It seems that aside from a jeep (which is the best option for off-road adventure) this all new Audi TTs is another option. IMO, its more comfortable to use compare to a jeep and its more spacious.

Yeah right. I’m so thankful that Audi is offering this kind of car, now i know what car will buy for my summer adventure!

Yeah I agree. The self-drive car is deceiving and based from what I have seen before some are using this technology for prankster.

I saw this concept first on the Super Bowl commercial, its cool actually. However, the self-drive car is kind of dangerous. I don’t want to see this car to be used on criminal activities.

That scene was great, but I hope the aircraft will able to take off properly. Yah, Pike’s up there. Wave for him! Hahaha.

IMO, people who like this kind of technology doesn’t love driving.
I’m always concerned with fun driving experience. If the car can drive itself then I can’t see where is the "fun" there!

This car is both cool and scary at the same time. Imagine being run over by one of these, who will you blame if there is actually no one on the driver’s seat.

The Autonomous Audi TTS will likely get most of the attention, though the R8 Custom Spyder should fit right in with the tuner crowd

Seems that particular aircraft was at its elevation ceiling at that spot. Pike’s is way, way up there.

Horay! Audi keeps this wonderful unmanned expedition alive. Where have they gone to now?

This autonomous car thing is really going to take all the fun out road anger.

That’s quite a task. I wish them all the best with this project. I thought for a minute they were going to enter it in the race. That would’ve been interesting...

Oops, watch out for Hyundai Bat mobile it might be still there on a road to brake a world recordsmiley

They tested it this past Saturday 9/11/10 at Pike’s Peak.

This is one of a kind technology made by Audi.

1 2 next >

*Registration is required to post in this forum

Back to top