Audi has made significant progress in developing their autonomous driving technology called the 'Audi Piloted Drive'. Their Audi RS7 prototype nicknamed 'Robby' shined at the Sonoma Raceway in California, making the laps faster than many professional race drivers.
'Robby' made the 4-kilometers-long Sonoma Raceway with the 49-meter-difference in height in 2 minutes and 1.01 seconds. He didn't manage to break the track's record of one minute and 20.683 seconds, made by the British Allan McNish with his Audi R8 in July 2000, but it proved to be very fast and equal to professional drivers in the same car.
Thomas Müller, Head of development for braking, steering and driver assistance systems at AUDI AG told the press: "In Sonoma we brought the Audi RS 7 piloted Driving Concept lap after lap to the physical limit, and in constant precision." He added, that "the car reached lap times that were better than those of some experienced sport riders." The piloted driving car using the "Audi Piloted Drive" system controls all tractor functions totally autonomously, whether it be braking, accelerating, steering or driving fast through the curves.
'Robby' was named after its predecessor 'Bobby', Audi RS7, which tackled the Hockenheimring in Germany last year and – like 'Robby' now – made it to the list of top 'drivers'. Both cars are equipped with similar autonomous driving technology and the same total power output of 560 horsepower, however 'Robby' is over 400 kilograms lighter and closer to the production Audi RS7. Also worth mentioning is 'Jack', the Audi A7 prototype, which was sent on a 885-kilometers-long solo journey from San Francisco to Las Vegas last year, and then drove just as successfully on German roads and made its way through the extra busy traffic on the streets of Shanghai.