Audi RS7 concept piloted driving: running on a track … without hands

The morning is cold but sunny. Perfect to roll on a track day or to spin, and not only in the metaphorical sense, one of the most interesting of recent years in the world of automotive topics: the autonomous car . Something that we have spoken on other occasions, that generates a lot of controversy, with two very different sides. Some, very much in favor of greater autonomy in the conduct. The other, however, very reluctant to be the car that will determine the running order. The war is served but surely, as time passes will change positions.

Handsfree: that is the future of driving

Although it is “disguised”, the car takes me at full speed by Ascari is an Audi RS7 standard, with many sensors, though.

To analyze driving the future we have from this and even travel into the past. An autonomous car is not a kind of spacecraft with wheels from scratch. The union of several automation systems is what makes the car is autonomous . That is, many systems today can find almost any car, acting together and with some adaptation, are those corresponding to the idea we have of autonomous car.

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For example, the “cruise control” (cruise control) with radar distance warning system inadvertent lane that is capable of moving direction and is a semiautonomous car . Simply place ourselves behind a car on the highway, we activate the cruise and just let them take us. The radar will determine if you have to slow down or stop depending on how the car acts that precedes us. And the same with the lateral path , while he reads the lines of asphalt. This operation, which at first seems so sophisticated, can be found in a “simple” Volkswagen Polo. It is true that, although at the time we are not acting or pedals or the steering wheel can not shy away from our duties.

Go in the passenger seat of the autonomous fastest car in the world is an indescribable feeling, closer to fiction than reality.

Back to the beginning, some months ago Audi presented to the international press at the Ascari circuit (Ronda, Málaga) A study of the autonomous car based on its sports sedan RS7 . This is a project led by two young engineers from the German, Klaus Peter Bergmiller and Verweyen, following the prototype piloted driving A7 concept, which was able to travel only 900 km away that separate Silicon Valley from Las Vegas. In this case the aim was to go a step further.

Simulate a fast lap on a circuit, as would an experienced pilot, and living it from inside to tell. The experience certainly has its one. it takes us back to childhood, to the scenes of more action series like Knight Rider , where KITT came the call of Michael Knight, perfectly manejándose only really dangerous conditions. That was fiction, but we knew that sooner or later end up arriving the day that would be.

A control unit located in the trunk, with several computers, is that records all parameters and manages control of the car automatically. It is the brain of Artificial Intelligence.

Cold sweat starts to fall on my face when sitting in the passenger seat, the engine starts . They have activated remotely from a computer. I can do nothing from my position as head turn to my left, I again confirm that there is no one. The car starts up. will gradually gaining confidence and drawing the path curves in the right way, but at a moderate rate. You do not know to what extent this experience may end well … or not, but to avoid having to think about it left me a kind of joystick, connected via a cable, through which can disconnect the automatic functions immediately.

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In addition, under the command of the air conditioning there is a “panic button”, similar to many racing cars with which, simply by applying the classic slap, the car is turned off. The fact is that once again tucked into flour, a torrent of sensations arises immediately and allow you another thing to be aware of what is doing the ghost rider. In this sense, evolution is so great that it is able to make decisions in split seconds to unforeseen. For example, when the car threatens to skid, the reaction of countersteer to correct the path is exactly as you would a human being.

Bergmiller and Klaus Peter Verweyen, two young engineers nearly practices in appearance, are the parents of the child.

around the car, a set of sensors measuring parameters will travel at all times that previously has been stored by signal GPS . But keep in mind a number of other values ​​such as room temperature, the temperature of the asphalt, the margins of error, in short, the same as those we would face if we were driving us and against which we should act as what we are as humans and not machines.

To do this, all previous complex programming that is, to put it simply, in teach the car to drive itself and a quick way . And from what I’ve seen, they get a very real way. At the moment this is only one study, but as we face some challenges not only focus on the technological aspect of the car, something that is becoming more advanced, but the legal and infrastructural part.

The aim is to improve the safety of the cars in the future prevent situations such as falling asleep at the wheel end up in tragedy.

In Europe, for example, laws do not allow a car to circulate in a street by himself , so it becomes very difficult to conduct a real test under these conditions. Not so in the United States, particularly in some states where there are more lax about this and where European manufacturers are moving to carry out a more accurate way open to traffic evidence.

the end, the question is to improve safety. As I said one of its developers, Klaus Verweyen, “humans can be distracted but electronic systems are absolutely focused on what we have to do.” And if we do not want it to be “Knight Rider” that drive for us, we will always have the ability to disconnect when you want.

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This article originally appeared in Curved magazine 4. Curved number is available at the kiosk in the iTunes or Android Play Store, along with twelve other magazines created by Mediazines.

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