By James Fallon
Meet ‘Robby’, the latest self-driving vehicle to emerge from Audi’s Piloted Driving programme.
Based on the ballistic RS7 Coupe, Robby utilises the same sensors, cameras and GPS radars as the brand’s previous autonomous RS7. However, Audi has reduced its weight by a massive 400kg.
This will not only improve ride and performance, but should also have a positive effect on emissions and economy. There is currently no official information from Audi, aside from the fact it uses an unchanged version of the standard RS7’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, meaning 552bhp sent to all four wheels.
According to Audi, Robby managed to beat the lap times of sports car drivers around the Sonoma Raceway in California, setting a 2:01.01 lap time.
Audi’s intention with ‘Piloted Driving Concepts’ is not to replace drivers, but rather to give the driver the option of being chauffeured in less enjoyable driving scenarios (such as motorway driving, traffic jams, etc).
At the moment, self-driving cannot be offered on the road as it violates the Vienna Convention which states: “the driver must steer his car.” Audi’s plans, however, are to have assistance systems fitted to its cars by the end of the decade that would enable the car to find its own parking spot and drive on motorways. The technology will make its debut on Audi’s forthcoming flagship A8 limousine next year.
Fancy your own (driver-operated, unfortunately) Audi RS7? Search Motors.co.uk for one here.