US: autonomous car project beats real racecar driver track time image

We are generally in the category that believes driverless cars will be capable of handling all or at least the vast majority of driving duties within a few short decades.

Actually, many experts, analysts and industry watchers believe it might happen sooner than later, with autonomous cars carrying people and freeing their time during workday commutes and typical day-to-day trip scenarios. But it looks like some other professional categories might have trouble finding jobs, not just taxi and limo drivers. Racecar drivers everywhere might become an endangered category once – with researchers at Stanford University still working on that aggressive autonomous Audi TTS. They actually took it to the racetrack recently (Audi did that as well, at home in Germany last year) in Northern California. And the car’s robotic driver was so good that its fastest lap time recorded by the university’s software was quicker by 0.4 seconds than the one posted by track owner and amateur touring class champion David Vodden.

Stanford Professor Chris Gerde commented that la times were actually besides the point here, as they want to study racecar drivers to better understand the dynamics of safe driving. “We’ve been trying to develop cars that perform like the very best human drivers,” Gerdes told The Telegraph. “Race car drivers are really fantastic, so by looking at race car drivers we are actually looking at the same mathematical problem that we use for safety on the highways. We’ve got the point of being fairly comparable to an expert driver in terms of our ability to drive around the track.” They even have video proofs that allow us to see how the self-driving TTS came to race around Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California at speeds that go above 120 mph.

Via Business Insider