While filming an Audi commercial featuring the new "driverless" VW/Audi car named Shelly , an Aerospatiale helicopter crashed near the summit of the famed Pikes Peak Highway. The pilot, Jim Dirker, was severely injured, but is said to be in fair condition. The other three crew members were hurt, but are in stable condition and will be able to leave the hospital later today.
In an official statement the company said: "Audi is saddened by the helicopter incident that took place this morning near the summit of Pikes Peak. Today’s film crew was shooting a test run of the “Autonomous Audi TT S Pikes Peak,” a joint program involving Audi, the Electronic Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University. The goal of the project involves ascending Pikes Peak autonomously without a driver behind the wheel to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced driver assistance systems and GPS. The car was not involved in the incident."
"Further information on the helicopter incident will be released by the National Transportation Safety Board and local law enforcement officials. All research activities on Pikes Peak have been suspended. The research project will continue at a later date."
Let’s keep these folks in our thoughts today.