Quattro and E-Tron technology just makes sense on the moon.
Back in 2015, Audi and the German space travel team called Part-Time Scientists announced plans to send its rover on a trip to the moon in 2017 as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. Audi makes a lot of sense as a partner for a lunar rover because the company is known for its Quattro all-wheel-drive system and has been developing its E-Tron electric drivetrain technology. Both of these features are perfect for a spot of moon offroading.
“We are proud that we have given the moon rover important aspects of the four rings’ DNA: It is a Quattro, has an E-tron battery on board, drives in piloted mode and offers an intelligent mix of materials,” said Michael Schoffmann, Head of Audi Transmission Development and Development Coordinator of the Audi Lunar Quattro.
Audi even accompanied the Lunar Quattro announcement with a very dynamic video which shows what an engineering masterpiece the company has created. Over the past few months, Audi has been improving the rover by reducing weight from around 83 to just 66 pounds by using 3D-printed aluminum. On the moon, the rover will use four cameras to navigate around as well as take 3D pictures. The rover still needs some fine-tuning to see how it copes with the moon's harsh environment. The vehicle will be tested in the Middle East to simulate the moon's surface and test the solar panels.
If the Part-Time Scientists are able to win the Google competition, they will receive $30 million. To win, the team must send a rover to the moon, drive at least 500 meters, and send high-resolution photos back to Earth. From a field of almost 30 competitors, the German team is now in the the final five. With Audi helping to promote the project, we think that the Part-Time Scientists have a great chance of winning.