Ask Rhys Millen or Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima if they'd like a robot to take their place on the Pikes Peak rally course, and you're likely to get punched in the face. But ask the average driver trying to negotiate the tricky pass (or one like it) in winter, and you might just get hugged. Audi, together with Stanford University, is working on a car to take on the treacherous trail all by itself.
The car, named "Shelley," after famed Audi rally racer Michele Mouton, got a new look recently as it prepares for its high-speed testing on the actual Pikes Peak course this September. The goal is to make a driverless car that can successfully navigate the winding, varied-surface road at speed, with the end result hopefully yielding some benefits for regular production cars.
Leveraging Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system for traction and stability plus an incredibly smart system developed by students and scientists at Stanford, the car will make its run up the Colorado mountain as Audi celebrates the 30th anniversary of quattro.