Audi to test high-speed autonomous vehicle tech at Thunderhill

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Audi will hone its high-speed autonomous vehicle technology at Thunderhill Raceway Park in northern California.

Like several other automakers, Audi has already begun highway testing of its self-driving vehicle tech, but public roads aren’t suitable for high-speed evaluations. In order to test the upper limits of its autonomous systems, Audi has signed a multi-year deal with Thunderhill to gain access to the facility’s 3.0-mile road course.

Thunderhill is conveniently located just outside of Willows, California, which is about 180 miles north of Volkswagen’s San Francisco-area Electronics Research Lab in Belmont, California.

“Thunderhill provides a perfect setting to safely test the wide range of systems that will make highly automated driving a reality in the new future,” said Ewald Goessmann, Director, Electronics Research Lab.

Audi hopes to launch its version of autonomous technology — known as piloted driving — with the next version of its A8 sedan. The next Audi A8 is scheduled to launch sometime around 2020.