Apr 9, 2010 4:39 PM by Greg Boyce
An experimental car built at Stanford University will tackle the daunting, winding road up Pikes Peak in September. The car is called Shelley. She can traverse rough terrain, accelerate quickly and negotiate sharp turns like other high-performance sports cars, and she needs no driver.
The Audi couple is the latest creation by Stanford University researchers who are developing technology that could help make driving safer and one day allow ordinary vehicles to drive on their own. Prof. Chris Gerdes' team of graduate students has designed an autonomous car to handle the 12.4-mile ascent that includes 156 turns and ends more than 14,000 feet above sea level. The Audi TTS is run by software developed at Stanford's Dynamic Design Lab run by Prof. Gerdes.
Armed with computer gear and a GPS system, Shelley is at the forefront of autonomous driving systems technology. Shelley will tackle the course at near race course speeds of up to 130 mph. This engineering system may one day be incorporated with safety systems in all vehicles.