Roborace Holds first Test Race as 2 Devbots take to the Track in Buenos Aires


The Roborace Autonomous racing car series took another step towards reality when two Devbot cars took to the track in a race at the Buenos Aires Formula E ePrix recently. The ‘race’ was won by Devbot 1 after Devbot 2 crashed in a racing incident on the track.

When it finally launches, the Roborace championship races will take place during Formula E race weekends and the latest test was the first example of this. The contest between the two development cars was billed by Roborace as the first “race between driverless cars.” This was the first time that two driverless cars have gone head to head on a race track.

Devbot 1 v Devbot 2 on Buenos Aires Street Circuit

Devbot is the name given to the prototype being used to develop and test the driverless race car to be used in the championship by the 10 teams that will be taking part. The prototypes still feature a drivers cabin but were both fully autonomous during the race. At the time of writing not much information was available save for a few brief updates including the following tweet from the official Roborace account:

Robocar will rely on AI and cutting edge technology to learn tracks and get better at navigating circuits. And it seems that Devbot 2 was doing just that when it pushed the boundaries and crashed into the barriers in Buenos Aires.

Devbot 2 crashIn this respect that is one of the advantages of driverless racing cars, as no driver was injured in the crash.

No doubt the company will have learnt some valuable lessons from the test. This is one of the aspects that will make the races more exciting as faster speeds are achieved and the potential for crashes increases in a field of 10 teams.

A New Fastest Lap

The winning car managed to clock a new fastest lap at a top speed of 186 Kph. This may seem pretty pedestrian compared to Formula E or F1 speeds, but is still significant for the budding championship. Obviously as the technology improves so will the capabilities and speed of the Robocar.

Kinetik, the company behind Roborace, is looking to combine Ai with automotive engineering to help accelerating driverless electric capabilities. The idea behind Roborace is that it will serve as a testing ground for autonomous vehicles in the same way that FE and F1 are for their respective car classes. The series has already partnered with Michelin as the official tyre supplier and seems to be making good progress.

More tests are planned for future Formula E race weekends and Roborace HQ will keep you up to date when that happens. Stay Tuned.

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