06/13/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Stanford Professor, Students Engineer Car That Drives Itself

In 1984, Michele Mouton was the first woman to win the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb--a twelve-and-a-half mile race to the Colorado mountain's summit. About 26 years later, professor of mechanical engineering Chris Gerdes and his Dynamic Design Lab are preparing to run Mouton's namesake, a white Audi TTS named "Shelley," up the mountain again.

But this time, there won't be a driver.

Gerdes' team of graduate and Ph.D. students and Volkswagen's Palo Alto research lab have spent the last two years conceptualizing and modifying the car to make the solo climb up the Peak.

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