Self-Driving Electric Car Race Ends With A Crash – Videos

2 months ago by Mark Kane 16

Roborace’s DevBots

Formula E is helping to expand electric vehicle racing fans into autonomous electric vehicle racing, via a new series – Roborace.

Several months ago we saw  the development  prototype DevBot, and some concept sketches.

Roborace’s DevBots

Recently two Devbots were tested alongside the Formula E round in Buenos Aires, but the interesting duel didn’t end well… at least for one of DevBots.

The self-driving machine made an error and crashed, which significantly lowered the survival stats to … well, 50%.

“Roborace’s two test vehicles (known as DevBots) battled it out on the circuit at a reasonably quick 115MPH, but one of the cars crashed after it took a turn too aggressively. The racing league was quick to tout the safety advantages of crashing autonomous cars (“no drivers were harmed”), but it’s clear that the tech is still rough around the edges.”

source: Engadget

Bonus: DevBot tests

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16 responses to "Self-Driving Electric Car Race Ends With A Crash – Videos"

  1. Texas FFE says:

    I understand that there needs to be prototypes but these things look like high school science projects. I guess there isn’t any serious funding yet for autonomous racing. What’s with the cockpit? I thought the whole idea of autonomous racing was to get the driver and the cockpit out of the car.

    1. Unplugged says:

      You will note that in Episode 5, a car without a cockpit is run. It’s not such a bad testbed for driverless cars in any case.

  2. Roy LeMeur says:

    I don’t understand the attraction here. Why would anyone want to watch this? You take out the human factor and it’s just a big yawn.

    1. Kdawg says:

      I think for the same reasons people like watching this. (or the ones w/out humans involved)

    2. bjrosen says:

      It’s not supposed to be a popular sport, it’s just a means of testing the technology. In the early days of automobiles racing was a good way to test new technologies, it was also very dangerous which is why it was also an exciting spectator sport. The technology part of regular autoracing disappeared a while ago, now it’s entirely about the drivers. However with autonomous driving the technology is still rapidly developing so it’s interesting to pit different implementations against each other (although from the pictures that doesn’t seem to be what they are doing here). Eventually the technology will be mature and then a robot race will be no more interesting then playing bingo or roulette without placing any bets, i.e it’s just watching a wheel spin and stoping at a randome place.

      1. Kdawg says:

        When the technology reaches human level, I think it would be interesting to pit humans vs. AI. Sort of like Jeopardy; humans vs. Watson, but this time w/some physical aspect to it, like John Henry vs. the Steam Engine.

        1. bjrosen says:

          It will happen once, just as it did with chess, Jeopardy, Go and no limit Texas hold’em. The computer will win and then there will be no point it in doing it again because computers will keep getting better and people can’t unless there is a Borg like human-machine interface.

          1. Kdawg says:

            At that point, you have “Watson” vs. “Sherlock”, and let the best AI win.

            I could see sponsorship coming from all the tech leaders to promote their ingenuity/engineering. Not only do you need the AI, but you need the electro-mechanical control, and also the racing performance of the vehicle, just as it is needed today.

    3. SparkEV says:

      Considering that micromouse races drew HUGE crowds in my college days, robot car racing could be popular. I think micromouse races drew bigger crowd than any other event that I’ve been, including football games.

    4. Texas FFE says:

      As a racing spectator you don’t see the the guy driving the car, all you see is the car going fast. We already have controls on racing, like restrictor plates, to tame racing down and protect the drivers. A lot of people, including me, would like to see all out racing that doesn’t involve risking the lives of humans.

    5. Colin Wright says:

      The point right now is that it’s not something perfected, so it’s interesting to see what they can do as a technical demonstration.

      Shouldn’t we be excited enough by the technology to watch it at least once?

  3. G2 says:

    ‘Roboracing’the automotive equivalent of the ‘self licking ice cream cone’.

    1. Someone out there says:

      Indeed, racing is a competition between drivers. What’s the point of racing if you don’t have the competitive element? It’s like having autonomous golf clubs that plays the game for you.

      1. Sublime says:

        Maybe if the AIs were from companies competing in the space. Like Google, Tesla, Uber, etc.

      2. Kdawg says:

        Looks like they were working on that technology in the early 80’s.

        https://youtu.be/wWjvDOm2R_c

  4. Sublime says:

    Lose the cockpit and put a 360 camera in it’s place. Stream feeds of the cars on youtube or facebook so that I can have a VR seat “in” these robot driven cars.

    Then I might watch. If you can find some humans who are crazy enough to race with them, all the better.

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