Stanford is going for the gold with its Shelley Audi TTS. Stanford's autonomous Audi has already proven that it can conquer Pikes Peak without any help. Now, it's trying to show the world just how fast and efficient a driverless car can be. The Shelley Audi TTS hit 120 mph during a recent run around California's Thunderhill Raceway. The autonomous car managed to complete the 3-mile course in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, a time comparable to the those posted by professional drivers.
The idea isn't to use autonomous cars to replace professional drivers, at least not yet anyways. Rather, the impulse behind making Shelley race is that the car can use its knowledge of how to handle tight turns and high speeds to correct human driving errors and prevent accidents.