Looks like UGVs have just gotten a speed boost: German car maker Audi, now part of the Volkswagen group, and US university Stanford are creating an autonomous rally car. Building on their previous success with Junior and Stanley at the DARPA Challenges in 2005 and 2007, the engineering teams now focus on higher speeds - up to 210 km/h or 130 mph.
Their new robot car Shelley is an all-wheel drive, 2010 Audi TTS (see picture above).
Their new track is the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb close to Colorado in the Rocky Mountains, which covers a distance of 20km over 156 turns, climbing 1500 meters from the on grades averaging 7% over both gravel and paved roads. Their new goal is having a car drive itself right at the very limits of its performance to, ultimately, design a system that can assist even the best drivers.
Links: Wired VideoWiredPike's Peak Competition