Forget the DeLorean... the real car of the future hit the road today in Willows as a team of mechanical engineers from Stanford tested their self driving car at Thunderhill Raceway.
Thousands of race cars take to the track at Thunderhill Raceway every year... but they usually have a driver at the wheel. That wasn't the case Thursday, as a team from Stanford University tested their autonomous self-driving car on the road course.
Lead researcher Dr. Chris Gerdes says, "we're trying to develop a car which can race around a track at the same level as the best human drivers." The Mechanical Engineering team has been working on the technology inside the Audi for several years. It has hit speeds of over 150 miles and hour at the Salt Flats... and topped 100 miles an hour Thursday at Thunderhill. Dr. Lene Harbott says, "our main goal of course is to make driving safer, but I have to say the reason people love cars so much is not because they're totally safe, they're really fun...people are really passionate about their cars."
In addition to testing the robot car, the Stanford team also put Thunderhill President David Vodden behind the wheel to see how real drivers react under the same driving conditions. Vodden says, "they're using me as a baseline in some ways for the data, so it's a real opportunity to drive this Audi TT and have all this technology involved with it."
While full self-driving cars are still decades away, a lot of the technology being tested in Willows could end up making your commute safer in the near future!
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It is with great sadness that we must inform you that Jim Brian our friend and co-worker has passed away.
Jim had been our front gate guard and fuel attendant for several years. If you have visited Thunderhill in recent times, it was most likely Jim who greeted you upon your arrival to the track with a smile and his friendly, gentle nature.
Our condolences go out to Jim's family and friends at this most dificult time, and our thoughts are with you. Jim, please rest in peace and know that you will be missed!
~ The Team At Thunderhill~
Order an SFI 38.1 certified Head and Neck Restraint on our Web Site between now and December 14, 2011
Enter Coupon Code "SCCA-HNR" to receive a rebate certificate for up to $50 good on future orders and up to $50 donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
Order a Cool Shirt Driver Cooling System Complete on our Web Site between now and December 14, 2011
Enter Coupon Code "SCCA-Cool" to receive a $25 rebate certificate good on future orders and $25 donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
Exclusions apply: You must be a SCCA San Francisco Region member; Rebate certificates is not valid toward gift certificates, tax or shipping and expire 12/31/2012. You may earn multiple awards certificates by purchasing multiple products. Certificates may not be transferred and will be forfitted if the product is returned. Products may not be returned after the awards certificate has be redeemed or past 30 days from the invoice date.
Funds donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park will be directed toward projects that specifically benefit the SCCA workers. Projects may include upgrades to areas such as turn worker boxes, the worker lounge, awnings and other things that make it nicer to work or play at Thunderhill!
Here are the full details:
Purchase a Head and Neck Retraint with a retail value over $900 and you will receive a rebate certificate for $50 off your next order and $50 will be donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
Purchase a Head and Neck Retraint with a retail value over $645 and you will receive a rebate certificate for $25 off your next order and $25 will be donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
Purchase a Head and Neck Retraint with a retail value over $550 and you will receive a rebate certificate for $15 off your next order and $15 will be donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
Purchase a Cool Shirt Driver Cooling System Complete with a retail value over $400 and you will receive a rebate certificate for $25 off your next order and $25 will be donated to Thunderhill Raceway Park
For info on garage rentals at Thunderhill