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Audi Unveils Lunar Quattro, A New Robotic Rover For Moon Exploration

Audi Lunar Quattro

The new Audi Lunar Quattro is a robotic vehicle that may one day explore the moon.

Credit: Audi AG / Part-Time Scientists

Audi and the Part-Time Scientists team competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition that they’re providing technical support for have unveiled their new moon rover, the Audi lunar quattro.

The lunar quattro, which is designed for lunar exploration, is scheduled to be hurled at the moon in 2017. The roughly 5-day journey’s intended touchdown point is located near the landing site used by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972, which is located north of the moon’s equator.

Audi, who is serving as a cooperating partner, is providing their technical expertise in the areas of lightweight construction and e-mobility. In particular, the automotive company is lending the Part-Time Scientists its quattro permanent all-wheel drive (AWD), piloted driving and its Munich-based Audi Concept Design Studio which is tasked with ensuring the lunar vehicle’s lightweight construction. Additionally, the company is providing assistance in the areas of quality assurance, testing and trials.

The Part-Time Scientists are the fist German team to have officially entered the Google lunar exploration competition– a competition which offers teams the opportunity to claim the largest incentivized prize in history: the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Ultimately, the goal of the competition is to become the first team to land a privately funded robot on the moon.

Audi Part-Time-Scientists XPRIZE Entry

Thus far, the German-based Part-Time Scientists–which have already secured $750,000 in prizes between the competition’s $500,000 Mobility Prize and $250,000 Imaging Prize–are the only team in the competition with a global premium end-consumer brand as a lead sponsor (Audi AG), according to the team’s website.

Robert Böhme, the founder and head of the Part-Time Scientists, indicated in a recent statement that the team is looking “forward to future interaction and a fruitful partnership” with Audi.

With Audi we have acquired a strong partner that will bring us a big step forward with its technological and mobility capabilities […] We look forward to future interaction and a fruitful partnership.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE competition is currently in its final round, a round in which the 15 teams left will compete against one another in the race to become the first privately funded team to put a robot on the moon.

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