An autonomously piloted Audi RS7 will drive itself, at racing speeds, around the Hockenheimring in Germany.
The car, dubbed the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving Concept, will perform a demonstration lap at around 12.45pm local time on October 19 (9.45pm, October 18 AEDT). The event will serve as part of the curtain raiser to the last race of this year’s DTM season and will be live streamed on the internet via the company’s website.
According to Audi, the computer driven RS7 will reach speeds of up to 240km/h on the track in Germany’s south-west. Testing, so far, indicates that the autonomous Audi RS7 will complete a lap of the 4.6km track in a smidge over two minutes.
This, Audi claims, will make the RS7 prototype almost as fast as if it were driven by a professional racing driver.
The company has yet to detail what technology the driverless RS7 will use to pilot itself near “its physical limits with millimetre precision” around the Formula One and DTM circuit.
It’s expected that RS7 Piloted Driving Concept will be powered by the same 412kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as regular human-driven RS7s. Power will be channeled to terra firma via an eight-speed automatic transmission and the company’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
Previous driverless Audis include an autonomous Audi TTS, co-developed with Stanford University, which was able to pilot itself up Pikes Peak along the same path used by hill climb racers.