Audi raised the bar for piloted driving as the Audi RS7 piloted driving concept vehicle completed a full lap around the Grand Prix race track located in Hockenheim, Germany.
The RS 7 was able to complete the lap at full racing speed without a driver, marking a major success for the piloted driving program of Audi.
The test run was done right before the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) season finale. Audi launched the RS 7 onto the Hockenheim track at its full capacity and driverless.
The RS 7 completed the lap in just above two minutes, as the vehicle is piloted with high accuracy and precision around the course.
"The top performance by the Audi RS 7 today substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi," said Audi AG Technical Development Board Member Ulrich Hackenberg.
"The derivations from series production, particularly in terms of precision and performance, are of great value for our further development steps," Hackenberg added.
Audi used specially adjusted GPS signals to provide the vehicle with the proper orientation for the race track. The data for the GPS signals is transmitted through both Wi-Fi and high-frequency radio to the RS 7.
While the vehicle is receiving the GPS signals, 3D cameras located at the rear of the vehicle take a video of the race track, feeding the data into a computer program that is capable of comparing the images filmed by the cameras to data that has previously been uploaded.
The combination of the two methods allows the vehicle to adjust its position on the race track while driving within centimeters of where it should ideally be.
Audi said that piloted driving continues to be among the most significant development fields in the company, with the first successes in the field acquired ten years ago. The results obtained from testing are integrated into series development of the company's mainstream vehicles.
For example, the latest testing sessions that Audi is holding for the company's piloted driving prototypes are providing engineers with the insights required to develop automatic anti-collision function for hazardous driving conditions.
These insights have led to further development on Audi's driver assistance systems, which have given drivers better control and more relaxation while on the road. The most advanced versions of these systems are found in the Audi A6 and Audi A7 Sportback model series.
The partners of Audi in piloted systems development are the Electronics Research Laboratory, Volkswagen Group Research and Stanford University.