Vorsprung durch Technik... automatic

Vorsprung durch Technik... automatic

Audi has designed a car which can reach racing speeds - without the need for a driver.

Budding Lewis Hamiltons might baulk at the idea of the Audi RS 7, which utilises a "piloted driving" idea, although it isn't troubling any F1 records just yet.

After being tested on Hockenheim racing circuit in Germany, the RS 7 took just over two minutes to make a complete lap.

Former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen has the record for that arena, clocked at just over 1.37 - score one for the humans.

Adapted GPS data is used to plot the car's journey around the track, with 3D cameras on board helping to store and compare data as the car travels. This can help the car to plot its momentum to the very centimetre, Audi claims.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "The capability of self-drive, or driverless cars increases enormously every year, and from a technological point of view it is fascinating to see what is now being achieved.

"Latest estimates suggest driverless cars will be on the roads in the next five years, so this kind of exercise is important in terms of developing our further understanding of how they will work in the future."

Audi has no plans to branch out into a racing series, though - or for a production model.

Copyright Press Association 2014