RoboRace is shaping up as an intriguing motorsport category, but there's still plenty of work to be done before autonomous racers are trading paint like their human-driven counterparts. This fact is resoundingly proven by footage taken on board a DevBot prototype around the Berlin ePrix Circuit.
The video below can be taken one of two different ways. Optimists will see the lap, which is conducted at something approaching race pace, as a huge step towards fully-functioning autonomous racers. Pessimists are more likely to note the fact the car coasts for long periods, misses most apexes by a few meters and never looks particularly fluid.
This isn't the first time we've been given a look at DevBots on the racetrack. Earlier this year, two development cars took to the track in Buenos Aires. They hit speeds up to 186 km/h (116 mph), but one of the two cars didn't make it back to the pits after an on-track "incident." A working example of the Daniel Simon-designed racer also hit the track in Paris, but never went faster than walking pace.
The series will eventually run alongside Formula E and when it finally gets going – hopefully this year – teams will be able to program a Nvidia Drive PX2 processor to try and make their car faster than the rest. Top speed is pegged at 200 mph (322 km/h) thanks to four 300 kW (402 hp) electric motors, and the cars will race as a support series for Formula E.
You can see the on-board from Berlin below.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more