Autonomous cars are inching ever closer to being a reality on our streets. However, Audi has set up a dramatic stunt to show just how capable self-driving car tech already is – by sending its RS7 sports car out by itself to race around the Hockenheim F1 circuit in Germany – at speeds of up to 149mph.
The German car company claims that its super-hatchback should tear around the track in just over two minutes when it is unleashed from the pits on Sunday – some way behind the lap record of 1:13.780 set back in 2004 by Kimi Raikkonen, but sufficiently rapid, considering there is no driver at the wheel.
Audi has been gearing up for this feat with a number of test runs this week. In this video you can see the car steering for itself and accelerating up to just under 100mph, without incident, and taking around two minutes and 37 seconds to complete the lap, significantly slower than it will go over the weekend.
All of this is very impressive, but what we’re looking forward to is seeing the full-speed lap on Sunday, which, according to Audi “will be approximately as fast as with a professional racing driver at the wheel.”