In just its third season, Formula E deserves credit for trying out new ideas in motorsport. Not everything has been a success, but the risk of trying to innovate in broad daylight is that people will see your mistakes as they happen. Take Roborace for example. The idea is to create a series of support races for Formula E where each team uses an identical driverless car, competing to write the best-racing AI. That driverless race car isn’t quite ready yet, but Roborace took a pair of DevBots to Argentina this weekend for a demonstration at the Buenos Aires ePrix.
It may not have been the demonstration that Roborace hoped for. One of the DevBotsâ€”the yellow oneâ€”ran out of talent and clipped a wall. But that happens to rookie human drivers, too, and at least in this case there was no chance of aÂ rookie seriously hurting themselves. Some argue that this is bad news for Roborace and self-driving cars, but this is racing. If it were easy to get right, it wouldn’t be any fun.
Roborace revealed on Twitter that DevBot 1â€”the red oneâ€”reached a top speed of 115mph (185km/h) on the 1.5-mile (2.4km), 12-turn track:
â€” Roborace (@roborace) February 18, 2017
Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to put that into context. We know the average speed of each Formula E lap, with Jean-Eric Verne’s 2017 qualifying lap at 80.7mph (129.9km/h) being the fastest recorded time we can find for the temporary circuit. But Formula E doesn’t publish peak lap speeds in the official results, so we can’t say if hitting 115mph is good or bad.
The red DevBot also had to cope with a stray dog running across the trackâ€”something that also affects the big boys in Formula 1 from time to time.
Roborace says that video from the Buenos Aires test should be online later this week, so until then we’re left with Argentinian journalist Diego Zorrero‘s short clip as the best look yet at how the DevBots cope on concrete-lined street circuits:
â€” Diego Zorrero (@dzorrero) February 18, 2017
Listing image by Roborace
from Ars Technica http://ift.tt/2lnfbDW