The race to create the first production self-driving car began in the early 2010s with many major automakers, including Ford, Audi, Nissan and Toyota, testing driverless systems. A major breakthrough was achieved in 2010, when Audi sent a driverless TT to the top of the Pikes Peak race course in 27 minutes with a top speed of 45 mph. While the numbers are far from overwhelming, the project was successful and proved autonomous cars can become a reality in the near future. Nearly four years later, Audi is back to showcase yet another self-driving car, the RS7 Piloted Driving Concept.
Based on the luxurious and fast RS7 sedan, this self-driving car is packed with the company’s latest technology in terms of orientation devices and on-board networking systems, and is set to debut at racing speed on Germany’s Hockenheimring track. Audi predicts top speeds of up to 149 mph and forces of up to 1.1g under acceleration, two enticing figures for a car that runs without a driver on board.
Updated 10/14/2014: Audi unveiled the official details on its latest project: the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving Concept. Click past the jump for more details.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving Concept.
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 has combined for the first time in a model the start-stop system and the S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. This application will be used for the first time in the Audi A3 1.6 TDI with 105 hp and the 1.4 TFSI with 125 hp.
Thanks to this new technology the Audi A3 TDI will have a fuel economy if 56.00 US mpg and the TFSI version of 44.38 US mpg.
The start-stop system turns the engine off as soon as the vehicle comes to a stop; the engine stays off as long as the driver depresses the brake pedal. As soon as the driver removes their foot from the brake pedal, start-stop turns the engine back on – quietly, conveniently and quickly.
Press release after the jump.
Audi revealed the “Travolution” a concept that will improve traffic infrastructure. The system that was presented today is used at 46 traffic lights in the municipal area of Ingolstadt. In this process, software optimizes the entire network of traffic lights, significantly reducing the duration of stopping times for cars.
An additional part of the project is called “The informed driver.” For this, three traffic lights have been equipped with communications modules that send the time for the next green phase to the car’s on-board computer. Audi has made an Audi A5 and an A6 Avant available as test vehicles for this part of the project. The drivers of these cars are informed through the Audi MMI infotainment system at what speed they should travel in order to drive through the intersection without having to stop.