By 2017, Audi plans to launch self-driving features on the next-generation A8 luxury sedan, but this year the automaker is asking students to develop self-driving versions of a remote-control Audi Q5 crossover.
The upcoming Audi Autonomous Driving Cup will task German students with developing software for 1:8-scale remote-controlled Audi Q5 crossovers to drive themselves. The cars can travel at up to 24.9 mph and will compete in a test track that includes parking, traffic, and random obstacle situations. Student teams lose points each time their car has an accident or commits a traffic violation. The team that finishes the course quickest with the fewest mistakes will win €10,000 (about $10,600).
The competition's organizers say that the students will encounter the same challenges programming a self-driving model car as Audi engineers face building a life-size version. "The measurement sensors in the models have to work just as precisely as those in their big brothers. We are excited to see the innovative solutions the students come up with," organizer Björn Giesler said in statement.
Audi confirmed in its latest annual report that the next-generation A8 luxury sedan will have "piloted driving" features. The car will be able to park itself and will be able to drive itself in traffic. Audi has also shown that its autonomous technology can be used on the racetrack, putting an RS 7 on the Hockenheimring without a driver behind the wheel.