Hey, BMW, where's your space car?
Seen here is the Audi Lunar Quattro. The rover was developed with the German engineering group Part-Time Scientists for the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The competition tasks teams with landing a privately funded lunar rover on the moon and driving it 500 meters, all while transmitting video and photos back to Earth. The first team to do this successfully will win $20 million dollars, which is a damn nice chunk of change. So, how is Audi, an automaker, helping out?
For starters, the Part-Time Scientists had access to the automaker’s advanced design studio in Munich. Audi designer Jorge Diez helped out as well, and the end result looks pretty damn sharp. It’s also highly functional, with its four wheels (each powered by an in-wheel electric motor) able to turn a full 360 degrees. Solar panels provide power during the day and a backup battery provides juice at night. Its cameras are mounted in the head and there’s a woefully slow top speed of 2.2 mph. The Lunar Quattro should launch sometime in 2017 so expect to hear more about it then.