Audi builds driver-less car for Pikes Peak

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Audi Autonomous TTS (click to enlarge)
Audi Autonomous TTS (click to enlarge)

Could racing cars driven by robots one day compete with the best F1 drivers in the world – and beat them?

Audi is investigating the technology and has built this ‘Autonomous’ TTS which it is considering sending up the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb.

Audi claims:

The Autonomous Audi TTS project is not aimed at making motorists, or the thrill of driving, dispensable. Instead, it is intended to explore the best capabilities of current and future driver assistance technologies to help Audi enhance the experience behind the steering wheel for future driver generations.

But executive director of the Electronics Research Laboratory Dr Burkhard Huhnke has high hopes for the technology:

We believe that developing a car that can perform as well and respond as rapidly as a ??professional? driver, like a race or rally driver, will eventually be able to drive its way around incidents in a way that a ??normal? driver couldn?t.
Burkhard Huhnke

May we one day see the famous Gary Kasparov-versus-Deep Blue chess match re-created on a racing track? How well would such technology work in an F1 car up against the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton?

It’s surely only a matter of time before someone tries it out. But I’m not sure watching a car driven by a robot could ever compare to the thrill of seeing a human tame the raw power of a racing car.

Even if Audi get their driver-less TTS to the top of the hill without it falling off, this is the Audi I will always associate with Pikes Peak:

Walter Rohrl, Audi Quattro S1 Pikes Peak (click to enlarge)
Walter Rohrl, Audi Quattro S1 Pikes Peak (click to enlarge)

Images (C) Audi