Audi heats up self-driving car competition by demonstrating its 150mph RS7

It's the world's fastest autonomous vehicle, according to its makers
Audi heats up self-driving car competition by demonstrating how fast its car can

Self-driving cars are the future. They're incredibly safe, efficient at negotiating complex traffic systems and will get you to work more quickly and comfortably than your current human-controlled jalopy. Their top speed? That's something we don't think about that often – but Audi is keen to raise the subject.

The German manufacturer claims that its RS7 self-driving prototype is officially the "fastest autonomous car on the planet." The 560hp car apparently hit 149mph at the Hockheimring course during Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season (DTM being Germany’s answer to NASCAR racing). The demo lap saw the RS7 take only 1 minute 57 seconds.

READ MORE: We test drive Volvo's self-driving car

Pedal to the metal

There’s a whole playlist of video to demonstrate the RS7 going really, really fast – not to mention some slightly disconcerting in-car footage. Will we ever really get used to a car going tearing around at high speed with no one at the wheel?

The RS7 is an impressive vehicle: 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged engine and 700Nm of torque. Throw in an eight-speed automated gearbox and you’d agree it’s a sweet ride, with or without its snazzy self-driving smarts.

With all that horsepower, how is the car controlled autonomously? Well, it’s all about sensors. The sensors work hand-in-hand with GPS navigation, digital maps and Audi’s proprietary software.

Audi’s self-driving tech is still in testing and development, but the company is pretty confident that, when self-driving tech’s massive rollout happens,  it’ll be right there up front with the best.

READ MORE: Google, Drive: Why you should be pumped about self-driving cars

[Source: The Verge]