The annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado, USA requires drivers to swallow the biggest brave pill in the automotive calendar.
During the 12.4 mile sprint to the 9,390ft summit the road turns from tarmac into dirt and in places, the side of the road is a sheer drop into oblivion.
It’s no wonder Audi has taken the step to create a fully-automated Pikes Peak driving Audi TTS.
Unless your surname is Rohrl, chances are you’d be happy to let someone or something else take the wheel on this stretch of road.
A joint effort by the Volkswagen Group and Stanford University, the Autonomous Audi TTS quattro has a ‘brain’ in the form of a computer located in its boot.
But, there are plans for it to receive its instructions remotely, with data beamed to the car from a range of up to 20 miles.
Contrary to making motoring, or driving, dispensable, Audi claims the technology is being developed to improve future generations of driver assists.
Dr Huhnke commented: “We believe that developing a car that can perform as well and respond as rapidly as a ‘professional’ driver, like a race or rally driver, will eventually be able to drive its way around incidents in a way that a ‘normal’ driver couldn’t.
“While a less experienced driver may freeze or make the wrong ‘correction’, the Autonomous TTS would be able to take over or guide the driver to escape from a critical situation. It could also compensate if a driver is inattentive to conditions or distracted but of course, it won’t prevent all accidents.”
If an accident was unfolding would you want the invisible hands of a virtual rally driver to take over the controls? Let us know by leaving a comment below.