Shelley, the name of Stanford University's self-driving Audi TT, reached 190 km/h (120 mph) while being tested on California's Thunderhill Raceway.
Other than some decals and a few extra antennas, there's nothing outwardly remarkable about the white Audi TTS zipping around the track at Thunderhill Raceway, north of Sacramento, Calif. Its tires squeal as it zigs through chicanes. Its engine growls as it tops 120 mph on the straights. The car gets around the 3-mile course in less than 2-1/2 minutes, a time that rivals those posted by professional drivers.
What is remarkable about this car is its driver: There isn't one.
Shelley, as the self-driving car is known, is the product of collaboration between Stanford's Dynamic Design Lab, led by mechanical engineering Associate Professor Chris Gerdes, and the Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab. Earlier this summer, Gerdes' group brought Shelley to Thunderhill for high-speed tests of the latest tweaks to the software that tells her when to brake, how tight to take turns and when to punch the gas.
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