Audi put a big exclamation point on its self-driving technology — "piloted driving," as the company calls it — with an adrenaline-filled demonstration in Germany over the weekend. The car in question was a 560-horsepower RS7 rounding the course at Hockenheimring during the finale of this year's DTM season (DTM is a little bit like a German NASCAR, so the right audience was certainly on-hand for this sort of thing). The car was going full-out, guided through a combination of precision GPS and 3D cameras. The in-car footage showing the view out of the windshield at triple-digit speeds with no one in the driver's seat is nothing short of terrifying.
Car companies are increasingly relying on extreme demonstrations of self-driving to show that the technology is progressing — they've moved beyond basic scenarios into the edge cases, pushing hardware and software to their limits. The logic, of course, is that if a self-driving car can handle a course at race speeds, it can certainly handle a highway. BMW did something similar at CES earlier this year with a self-drifting car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Audi claims that its RS7 demo is officially the "fastest autonomous car on the planet."