Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak gets new look video

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak, one of Audi’s research projects examining self-driving cars, has been updated with a new look.  The car now carries a design meant to resemble the 1987 Audi S1 quattro rally car, including an orange, gray and black stripe from nose to boot.

Also seen is a giant Stanford University “S” logo on the side, for the automaker’s research partners.  Audi still points out that the S-logo, fitted with an evergreen tree, also recalls the Audi S1 quattro rally car, and race driver Michele “Shelley” Mouton.  Mouton, along with Walter Roehrl and Bobby Unser, piloted her S1 to a win at the 1985 Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds.

“We were very much inspired by the Pikes Peak race cars,” said Autonomous TTS designer Raul Cenan. “But there was very different technology used in those cars overall. So we decided to go with more modern elements that were heritage-inspired.”

The self-driving Audi TTS is based on a stock TTS, as it is already outfitted with a drive-by-wire accelerator, and a DSG transmission.  Two computers were installed in the boot, each running a different set of algorithms.  While one crunches vehicle dynamics, the other uses the Java Real-Time System to understand safety critical data.  It is hoped that the two combined will allow the car to be pushed to its limits in any condition.  Meanwhile, a differential GPS system with a margin of error under two centimeters keeps the car on course.

Engineers working on the project hope to run the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak on the Pikes Peak, Colorado, circuit in a high-speed test this September.

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