While back, Audi revealed that it was working on a Lunar Rover for the Part-Time Scientists space travel team from Germany. Audi’s Lunar Rover, dubbed “Audi Lunar Quattro”, is now ready to drive on the moon after extensive testing. It also now has Audi Quattro and e-tron electric technology, making the Lunar Quattro every bit an Audi as one of the brand’s famous cars.
“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 Schöffmann, Head of Audi Transmission Development and Development Coordinator of the Audi Lunar Quattro. “The collaboration with the Part-Time scientists is also very enriching for us: We are breaking new technological ground with the Audi Lunar Quattro and can learn much about how automotive components behave in extreme conditions.”
Audi has been specifically working on the rover’s intelligence, piloted driving technology and all-wheel drive traction. The surface of the moon is very unlike any surface on Earth and moon dust is very difficult to drive on. So Audi needed to do extensive work on the all-wheel drive system and tires to insure that traction was always readily available. They also reduced its weight from 38 to 30 kilograms by adopting an optimum mix of materials and using aluminum 3D printing. Sophisticated tests, for instance in the Audi sun simulation chamber, were also run to simulate the extreme conditions on the Moon and examine the suitability of the rover’s components.The Audi Lunar Quattro will have four cameras to help find its way around and will also be used to take 360 degree and 3D pictures.
Part-Time Scientists will launch their probe to the Moon in late 2017 and will be taking two Audi Lunar Quattros their with it. It will likely launch from something like a Falcon 9 rocket and will land near the 1972 landing spot. Once this happens, Audi will be the only automotive company to expand further than Earth.