First self-driving Roborace test race ends in a crash

First self-driving Roborace test race ends in a crash

Because in one of the first ever Roborace events - the driverless series which now follows each Formula E races in an attempt to push autonomous and EV technology - a front-running Devbot suffered an unfortunate crash while exiting a corner on the Buenos Aires street circuit today.

While the Devbot 1 handled the unexpected challenge of dodging a moving dog, driving through the course at full speed was too much to handle for Devbot 2.

The world's first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. The other robotic vehicle was able to finish the contest unscathed, capturing the win by default.

Highlighting the fledgling nature of self-driving vehicle tech, the accident has shown there's still a lot of work to do before driverless cars are the foolproof, safety machines we've all been led to believe they're capable of becoming. 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.

Playing down the issue, the Roborace team highlighted the benefits of being able to conduct such tests without the need for dedicated drivers.

If Devbot 2 crashing out while attempting an overtake wasn't proof enough the cars were pushing hard, Devbot 1's pace should be. "And the beauty is no drivers get harmed because there is no one in them".

The plan is to have a global championship with teams all competing with the same vehicle designs. It's an idea that's split decision with motorsport fans. The auto topped out at 115.5 miles per hour on its fastest lap.

Roborace cars use Nvidia's Drive PX2 system that was designed specifically for autonomous vehicles.



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