Audi RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept Sets Record In Spain
The Audi RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept was first introduced in October 2014 and in short order, it has more than lived up to Audi’s expectations. The autonomous vehicle’s latest claim to fame occurred at the Parcmotor race track in Barcelona where it set a lap time of 2:07.67, adding yet another feather on its cap.
Since its introduction, the RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept has made a habit of accomplishing things that have helped Audi improve its autonomous driving technology. During the hot lap at the Parcmotor, journalists were given a first-hand experience of riding an autonomous car under race conditions. This latest milestone also served as a hugely successful follow up to a similar run back in October 2014 when an RS 7 with the project name “Bobby” successfully completed a lap around the famed Hockenheim circuit in Germany, reaching speeds in excess of 149 mph in the process. In July 2015, the RS 7 also put in some impressive hot laps around the Sonoma Raceway in California.
These test runs are all part of Audi’s overarching plan to offer autonomous driving in its production cars in the future. A lot of automakers are doing something similar so at this point, it really has turned into a race to see which one can translate the tech to its models first. Judging from how far Audi has come since introducing the RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept last year, it does look like the German automaker’s ahead of the curve. The development ground being laid by the driverless sedan is already providing Audi with valuable information and knowledge, including information related to sensor technology, data processing, and stabilization.
The recent test in Barcelona only adds to the wealth of vital information Audi needs to further advancement the technology. Soon enough, we might be seeing the RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept in production guise. Should that day come, we can all look back to the amount of time, resources, and effort Audi put in to make it happen.
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Why it matters
At this point, it’s become common knowledge within the auto industry that autonomous driving technology is the next big step in the business. Every major automaker in the world is doing research and development to bring this tech to market. Almost all of them are pushing to bring this tech to market by 2020, or right around the same time that Google is targeting with the release of its own autonomous driving car.
In Audi’s case, the company already has some years of research and development under its belt. Remember, it launched the autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak car back in 2010, right around the same time when the thought of autonomous tech on mass produced vehicles was still in its embryonic stage. Over the years, Audi has even released a handful of concept models with the tech, including the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept back in January 2015 and the R8 e-Tron Piloted Driving Concept in May 2015.
All these tests and launches didn’t happen by coincidence. This is a concerted effort by the German automaker to push its own development of the tech so it can beat others to the punch. I’m pretty sure that other companies are are all doing the same thing. But, if there’s one company that’s really making waves from a headlines standpoint, it has to be Audi. The RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept’s latest accomplishment is impressive, but something tells me that it also won’t be its last breakthrough.
Read our full review on the Audi RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept here.