Automated Race Car Starts, Then Instantly Plows into A Wall
Mike Sanders / 3 weeks ago
Over the last couple of years, a new trend has started to rise in the world of automotive sports. Namely, RoboRace. So, what is it and how does it work? Well, while the race car is a physical object that sits and drives around an actual track, the main key point of this new sport is that the vehicles do not have a driver. Well, not one sat inside it at least. It is, instead, operated by someone via a computer whose inputs are then directly transferred to the racing car. – Think of being similar to the recent trend seen for virtual Formula 1 races except, in this instance, the car is very much real!
While RoboRace is still in it’s relatively early and tentative years, however, a recent incident has brought the sport into the public eye, but perhaps not for reasons they intended. – Why? Well, one vehicle has been shown immediately setting off on what was basically it’s ‘setup’ lap, and while it did move, all it did was instantly plow into the wall.
Automated Race Car Blooper
As you can see in the video below (courtesy of Twitter user ‘@dogryan100‘), with the race car sat neatly on the starting line, everything looks pretty hunky-dory. As soon as acceleration is applied, however, the vehicle immediately turns to the right and hits the wall at what appears to be a fairly notable level of speed.
Perhaps worse though, through a rather bizarre requirement of the setup lap, a driver was actually sat in the vehicle at the time of this smash! – Don’t worry though, as we understand it they’re not injured!
Roborace is the world first driver-less/autonomous motorsports category.— Ryan (@dogryan100) October 29, 2020
This is one of their first live-broadcasted events.
This was the second run.
It drove straight into a wall. pic.twitter.com/ss5R2YVRi3
What Went Wrong?
So, what exactly went wrong here? Did the internet drop? A latency spike? – Well, while we don’t have any specific details surrounding the exact nature of the fault, a member of the engineering team has confirmed that an error led to the steering wheel automatically applying a hard right lock that, for again, reasons that haven’t yet been determined or disclosed, couldn’t be overridden. As such, all the race car could do when acceleration was applied was go immediately into the wall.
So, while this sport certainly does offer a lot of potentials, particularly in regards to safety where a serious high-speed accident will not have a human occupant, there are clearly still more than a few bugs to iron out in the system! – There was, however, a part of me that really did want this crash to be because of a blinking red light on a router!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!