A helicopter filming a driver-free Audi during a test run crashed early Friday on Colorado’s famous 14er, Pikes Peak. Four people were injured in the crash, including one seriously.
The crash occurred approximately a mile below the 14,110 foot summit. Authorities said the pilot suffered serious injuries and was flown to a hospital in a second helicopter. The three other passengers suffered minor injuries.
The helicopter passengers were filming the prototype driverless Audi, which is part of a project in conjunction with Stanford University. No one from the university was injured.
The vehicle is designed to drive the complicated route to summit the mountain, with the goal being to create autonomous cars that can read what’s around them and avoid accidents. The one-of-a-kind Audi utilizes a trunk loaded with computers and GPS technology to operate itself.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown and is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
The summit of Pikes Peak has been the scene of many helicopter accidents as the higher the altitude, and the thinner the air, the more difficult it is to operate a helicopter.