Autonomous Car Shelley Tears Around Racetrack, Nears Speeds of 120 Mph


For the past several years, Stanford University researchers have been testing their autonomous driving algorithms with Shelley, a custom-rigged Audi TTS, on the three-mile track at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. Although the speedometer needle sometimes flies past 110 mph, the car spends a good deal of the course maneuvering at speeds of 50 to 75 mph. This is closer to the speed at which most car collisions occur, and understanding how the car adjusts its throttle, brakes, and makes use of all the friction of its tires in these situations could inform the development of automatic collision avoidance software.