A self driving Audi TT has hit speeds of 120 MPH. Scientists at Stanford University have in charge of development with the car reaching it’s feat on the Thunderhill Raceway in Sacramento California. The vehicle which had no driver whatsoever was put through it’s paces around a three mile course.

It took just two and a half minutes to complete the track. The time recorded was so impressive that some Formula 1 drivers would have trouble competing with such a tremendously quick record. The car has been given the name Shelly, deriving from the two teams who worked on the vehicle, Stanford’s Dynamic Design lab and the Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab.The self driving Audi TT is cleverly developed with a great deal of sophisticated technology behind it. A number of algorithms are behind helping the car navigate itself around the course.

The car knows when to speed up, brake, turn, reach maximum speed and much more. However this doesn’t mean that the vehicle is able to be self driven on public roads just yet. On normal roads the car would have to avoid collisions and objects. Roads are never the same, with different levels of traffic and objects such as road works in the way. The Audi TT in question was pre-programmed to understand the course and drive around it.

It has been confirmed that Stanford University have arranged for professional drivers to compete on the race track in a 1966 Ford GT. This was the only American built vehicle to finish first in the 24 hours Le Mans Race. Times will be compared along with the driving style to see as to compare the difference. There will be sensors within the car recording heart rate and body temperature. Brain activity will also be measured to check whether specific driving techniques require more concentration. The aim is to discover what makes racing drivers so successful and good and what they do.

All data collected will be used in order to move on to the next step on developing autonomous vehicles. However that is quite a long way away, but nearer to the time the data developed from the tests could be used in order develop road safety technology.

Have self driving vehicles taken a step closer to making their way onto our roads? We believe so. The self driving Audi TT is quite a magnificent achievement considering the speeds that it reached