Awhile back, we talked about how Audi would be helping to develop a lunar rover for Moon exploration. Audi won’t be actively participating the the mission to the Moon, rather it will be helping to create a rover that will have an all-wheel drive system to handle the incredibly difficult terrain that lies ahead. In this latest video by Audi, it explains just how difficult it will be to drive on the moon and the challenges the rover will face.
The video goes through Audi’s longstanding history of making all-wheel drive machines capable of any and all terrain. The original Audi Quattro, which was a rally-bred fire-spitting monster, and the Audi Q7 are just a few of the cars that Audi has made over the years that excel on even the roughest of terrain. But the surface of the moon isn’t a rally stage or a desert, it’s far more difficult than that and Audi is going to have to reinvent its Quattro system for this little rover just to cope. The surface of the moon is covered in Moon Dust, which is 1,000 times finer than dust on Earth, so grip is level so low that we’ve never seen it before. Plus, the Moon’s pot-marked surface and rocky terrain adds additional levels of difficulty.
So Audi is going through extensive research into both wheel and power management. The wheel technology is like nothing on a car, because it isn’t going to be driving on surfaces anything close to what we’ve seen. And the grip and power must be managed so carefully to insure that the rover never spins its wheels so much that it gets stuck. If it were to dig itself into a hole and get stuck, it’s not like you can call someone in a Ford F150 to come pull it out. It’s alone up there. So getting stuck would absolutely ruin a multi-million dollar space exploration that was years in the making. So there’s actually quite a lot riding on Audi’s Quattro system for this new rover. The video is quit interesting, though, and definitely worth a watch. Check it out.