The Driverless Audi Race Car Will Make Your Commute More Terrifying Than Ever

Meet Shelley. Shelley is a driverless car unlike anything you've seen before. Sure, Google has its own driverless cars, but I bet the search giant isn't taking them to racetracks for 200km/h speed tests with nobody behind the wheel. You may commence clenching now.

Shelley is an Audi TTS that has been modified by mechanical engineering geniuses at Stanford University.

They decided it would be a great idea to take the car to Thunderhull Raceway Park in California for a gruelling test that saw the car thrown through chicanes, crest hill turns and fast straights. There wasn't anyone controlling it at the time, but if you have a look at the video, it seems like there is someone actually in the driver's seat the whole time. I'm not saying it's a flawed test, I'm saying that's the bravest man alive.

Would you put your life in the hands of a driverless sports car? [Daily Mail]



    Looks like it is just using GPS positioning for its localisation, so not that impressive. I would be much more impressed if they were using video, laser data, etc to localise itself on the track.

      You're serious, aren't you? You're not impressed by a car that can drive itself flat-out on a race track... Whether it uses GPS or any other technology, surely you have to admit it's pretty cool. Or are you one of those people who wasn't even happy with the Mars rover? Not enough HD images, right? Pretty lame of NASA, right?

        I guess Palms has his own, impressive, driverless technology

          Interesting that you criticise palms for only being interested in the ‘pretty pictures’ sent back from the Mars rover, whilst clearly being seduced by a pretty car repeating someone else’s feat.

        Considering I'm doing a PhD in robotics, yes, I'm not that impressed. This is old technology and has been done before. Here is the Google car doing essentially the same thing (, and this is from early last year. They may even be integrating the LIDAR data in this car as well (see the spinning Voledyne on top of the car).

        So yes, the Audi is cool, just not impressive. I was very impressed by the landing of the Mars rover - I think that that is one of the most impressive achievements in the history of space travel and I was anxiously watching it land. The rover itself is not that impressive - pretty much just an evolutionary design of Spirit and Opportunity.

          OF COURSE you are doing a PhD in robotics. & if this article were about bees, you'd have your own apiary

            Yes, I am doing a PhD in robotics, specifically task allocation for multi-agent systems, but I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

              *Withdraws from conversation because he has no idea what you're talking about*

              Thought I'd just post Richard's thoughts at this point. Back to watching the fast car go round and round, Dickey.

                Or maybe he doesn't repeatedly revisit the same thread like some insecure people

              If you really are doing your PhD in robotics, you'd be smart enough to realise that it couldn't be using solely GPS as a means of navigating the racetrack . Since GPS can be 10-20 meters out, you'd be stupid to launch a car around a track at such high speeds. My guess is that it is using a synergy of radar, camera image processing, GPS, and accessing feedback from accelerometers etc. Soz bra

                They would most likely be using Differential GPS (look it up), which has accuracy on the order of 10cm and would be suitable for this application. And can you see any radar on the car? There isn't one.

                  Radar is built into many high-end luxury cars in the form of autonomous cruise control, accident collision avoidance systems (seat belt tightening, airbag deployment), blind spot detection, and you can't really see the radar unless you really look for it up close. Commonplace image processing applications include automatically dimming headlights in response to oncoming traffic, line detection for automatic steering (common in toyota prius), and others. Integrating all these feedback systems into a weight driven decision making driving system is awesome in my opinion.

      *car crashes due to flaw in laser/video* = "...why didn't they just use GPS?"

      I for one dont think anything is really impressive

    Jokes aside, I dont see why you would buy a high performance sports car only to have it drive itself? If I even managed to scrape together enough money to buy a sports car, you can bet I will be driving it every chance I get..

    BMW demonstrated this on Top Gear in 2007. Less impressive 5 years later.

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