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Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept completes Hockenheimring lap driverless


At the DTM season finale, Audi demonstrated their vision of piloted driving. The Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept completed a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim – at racing speed, without a driver.

Before the season finale of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the latest technology pioneer was running up to its physical limit, with no driver. It took the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept slightly over two minutes to complete a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim – piloted with precision and accuracy to within centimeters.

“The top performance by the Audi RS 7 today substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “The derivations from series production, particularly in terms of precision and performance, are of great value for our further development steps.”

For orientation on the track, the technology pioneer uses specially corrected GPS signals. This GPS data is transmitted to the vehicle via WiFi according to the automotive standard and redundantly via high-frequency radio. In parallel to this, 3D cameras in the car film the track, and a computer program compares the cameras’ image information against a data set stored on board. This is what makes it possible for the technology to orient the car on the track within centimeters.

The Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept

Piloted driving is one of the most important development fields at Audi: The first successful developments were achieved ten years ago. The test results continually flow into series development. The latest test runs at the physical limit are providing the Audi engineers with insights for the development of automatic avoidance functions in critical driving situations, for example.

Driver assistance systems from Audi are already making driving more relaxed and better controlled. These systems’ highest level of development can be experienced in the updated Audi A6 and Audi A7 Sportback model series. The offerings include Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function including Audi pre sense front.

Experts from Volkswagen Group Research, the Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) and Stanford University (both in California) are supporting Audi as partners in the further development of piloted systems.

Source: Audi
Romain’s opinion:
I think that it is easier to perform this kind of test than running automated driving in open roads due to the following facts: The track dimensions are perfectly known in advance, there aren’t any unknown external factors such as pedestrians and finally, there is no trade-off to be made with regulations, fuel economy or comfort. The point of this test may be to proof the responsiveness of the control systems. Or is it just a marketing operation?

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