Automotive

Roborace DevBots take to city street circuit in Buenos Aires

Roborace DevBots take to city ...
Two Roborace DevBot mules on the Buenos Aires city street Formula E circuit on February 18
Two Roborace DevBot mules on the Buenos Aires city street Formula E circuit on February 18
View 9 Images
DevBot 1 out in front, closely followed by DevBot 2
1/9
DevBot 1 out in front, closely followed by DevBot 2
Two Roborace DevBot mules on the Buenos Aires city street Formula E circuit on February 18
2/9
Two Roborace DevBot mules on the Buenos Aires city street Formula E circuit on February 18
Teo DevBots at the start, but DevBot 2 took a nasty turn during the race – quite literally – and didn't make it to the checkered flag
3/9
Teo DevBots at the start, but DevBot 2 took a nasty turn during the race – quite literally – and didn't make it to the checkered flag
DevBot mules were created to give Roborace engineers the chance to subject the self-driving test vehicles to race-like conditions and iron out any bugs
4/9
DevBot mules were created to give Roborace engineers the chance to subject the self-driving test vehicles to race-like conditions and iron out any bugs
DevBot 1 undergoing final checks before hitting the city street circuit in Buenos Aires on Feb 18
5/9
DevBot 1 undergoing final checks before hitting the city street circuit in Buenos Aires on Feb 18
DevBot 2 serves as a test mule for future autonomous racing championships, and as such looks nothing like the futuristic vision behind it
6/9
DevBot 2 serves as a test mule for future autonomous racing championships, and as such looks nothing like the futuristic vision behind it
The DevBot cars race around the track guided by AI software and sensors
7/9
The DevBot cars race around the track guided by AI software and sensors
DevBot 2, pictured here, took a turn too fast and made contact with the barrier, but as there was no human driver in the test mule, no-one was harmed
8/9
DevBot 2, pictured here, took a turn too fast and made contact with the barrier, but as there was no human driver in the test mule, no-one was harmed
Two DevBots battling it out on the streets of Buenos Aires, but only DB1 (in red livery) made it to the finish line
9/9
Two DevBots battling it out on the streets of Buenos Aires, but only DB1 (in red livery) made it to the finish line

Two Roborace DevBot cars zipped around the Formula E circuit in Buenos Aires at the weekend. The battle between DB1 and DB2 on the city street track on Feb 18 marked the first time two cars have been raced together, though only one driverless racer made it to the finish line.

First revealed toward the end of 2015, the Roborace autonomous racing series was planned to run alongside the 2016/17 Formula E all electric racing season. For the championships proper, it is expected that each of the 10 teams will have two cars each, running support races on city street tracks around the world.

With no driver cockpit to concern themselves with, designers revealed a futuristic vision for the self-driving racers in the early part of 2016, with a look under the hood following in August.

Before the championship cars get to emerge from the development pits though, DevBot mules were created to give Roborace engineers the chance to subject the self-driving test vehicles to race-like conditions and iron out any bugs. And though Roborace DevBots have been tested on circuits before, this latest outing on Feb 18 marked the first time two cars had been on the same track at the same time.

DevBot 1 out in front, closely followed by DevBot 2
DevBot 1 out in front, closely followed by DevBot 2

One of the self-driving cars took a nasty turn during the race – quite literally – and didn't make it to the checkered flag. Not much information about what happened to DB2 has been officially revealed, other than a tweet from the Roborace team advising that the car had "an incident on track, leaving Devbot 1 to win." Roborace hasn't posted any photos so far, but Autoblog Argentina did share a couple on its Twitter feed. The winning car is reported to have managed a respectable fastest lap top speed of 186 hm/h (115 mph).

The next Formula E Roborace outing is scheduled for Mexico City on April 1, by which time DB2 should have made a full recovery and could well be seeking a rematch.

Source: Roborace

3 comments
f8lee
To me, this entire endeavor is a non-starter - fans watch or attend car races with the (not so) secret hope of seeing crashes and destruction with the very real chance of bodily harm to the drivers...autonomous racers may be an enjoyable and even educational engineering exercise but as an entertainment business it will fail due to peoples' boredom with the notion of a bunch of machines zooming around an oval.
Bob Flint
Only two cars raced and one actually finished, that sounds like 50/50 failure rate, maybe it was some cosmic rays...........
Grunchy
I can easily see a renegade entry the size of an r/c car coming out of nowhere and trouncing these elephants.