The Robocar prototype ‘Devbot’ recently completed 12 laps around a racetrack autonomously. The development vehicle went round the Formula E track in Marrakech perior to the main event on race day. Kinetik, the company behind autonomous racing car championship Roborace have been documenting their journey towards making the driverless race a reality. In the third episode of their video series entitled “Inside Roborace” the car is shown completing 12 full laps without a driver in its cockpit.
The final editions of the Robocar will not feature a cockpit at all and from the evidence in the video, Devbot may not need one anymore either! Check out Episode 3 of Inside Roborace below to find out more:
Devbot Faces the Heat In Marrakech
Apart from private tests and simulations, one of the Devbot’s first outing was in a similar test at Donington Park racing circuit in England. At the time the prototype of the Roborace Car only managed to complete one full lap around the track without a driver.
Fast forward a couple of weeks at the last Formula E race in Marrakech and the autonomous car was set for a very public outing.
With nerves tight and the excitement palpable, the Devbot was taken for a practise run around the official track a day before the race. On race day with crowds of locals, millions watching worldwide, government officials, and all the Formula E teams present, the Robocar was scheduled to complete 12 laps autonomously around the race track.
Just before the official FE race began Devbot rolled out, observing pitlane speed restrictions as it trundled towards the track for its public debut. Once cleared to take to the track, Devbot takes off at a reasonable speed in its outlap. The car is programmed to increase its speed over each subsequent lap as it learns more about the track and was soon speeding round it as it ate up lap after lap.
All in all, Devbot managed to complete 12 laps without a driver; one outlap, ten flying laps, and the in-lap back to the pits. While the Race creators may have been disappointed with missing their projected start date for the first Formula E race for the beginning of its driverless championship, they will no doubt be heartened with the progress that the Robocar is making.