This is Toronto. We are an enormous city with far-flung suburbs that – for some reason – all operate under the same municipal government. What is the sole issue that can unite such a diverse, thinly-spread population? If this election is any indication, it would be transportation. This is not a predicament unique to Toronto, however. Around the globe, drivers are stuck in soul-draining commutes and gridlock. The exhaustion of this can have negative ramifications on people’s productivity, psychological health, and the amount of time they spend with loved ones. How great would it be if the car could take you from A to B while you just chill?
While we’re still a few years away from watching House of Cards on our iPads while Herbie drives us to work, the idea is no longer solely in the realm of the imagination or science fiction. Audi has just debuted their latest concept vehicle, the RS 7 piloted car, and it is driverless, autonomous, and reaches speeds previously unseen. In the past, self-driven vehicles have been relegated to a snail’s pace… until now.
For its inaugural public race, the Audi RS 7 zipped around the Hockenheimring in Germany at speeds in the neighbourhood of 240km per hour. Held during the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) on October 19, the RS 7 was live-streamed on Audi MediaTV’s website — with so many people tuning in that it caused the site to crash. On the plus side, at least it was the site that crashed and not the car, right?
Quick to take advantage of all 560 horses under the hood, the Audi RS 7 hugged corners and braked so smoothly, you’d think Mario Andretti was behind the wheel. Literally history in the making, @Audi even live-tweeted “The #RS7 topped 149 MPH at Hockenheim. Officially, the fastest autonomous car on the planet.”
That said, it is one thing to zip around an empty racetrack compared to a busy downtown street – but this is a huge step in the right direction. The Audi RS 7 has taken our perception of piloted cars from prototype to pro-sport. If you are looking forward to the day when your Audi carts you to the office, we recommend keeping an eye on this one.