The autonomous Audi TTS built by Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab, Stanford University and Audi has taken an important first step toward its ultimate goal: participating in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The self-driving TTS officially completed a test run – all the way to the 14,110 foot summit – earlier this year, clocking a time of 27 minutes, which is pretty good considering that race officials typically expect a human driver to do it in around 17 minutes.
Audi says that the car used a combination of brand-new software, algorithms and hardware to tackle one of the world's most challenging hill climbs. The 12.42 mile course is a gauntlet of tarmac and loose gravel that snakes upward with a number of instant switchbacks. According to Audi, the autonomous TTS managed to hit a top speed of 47 mph during one stretch. Hit the jump for the full press release.