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Self-Driving Racecars Hit the Race Circuit

700 × 466Tron: Legacy, Oblivion and Captain America: all three films have something in common: automotive design wizard Daniel Simon. Lately, Simon has turned his immense talents to developing the sleek insect look of the Robocar, the world’s first electric self-driving race car. The future of racing is literally electrifying: Shelley, a modified Audi TT tested recently, hit speeds of 120mph around a northern California track, pushing its suspension and tires to the limit on a few trial runs. And with Robocar, the need for a driver is eliminated. Designers can outdo themselves, relying on the important sensors required by all autonomous vehicles.

Roboracer’s prototype vehicle, the Devbot, still makes room for a driver in the continuing development stages. We feel like little kids asking, “How much longer do we have to wait?” as the company dials back on the plan to have 20 such racers on the circuit this year. Patience is a virtue, we know, but we’re already waiting breathlessly for the unveiling of the Dodge Challenger Demon: how much more suspense can we stand?

Is it still a race if no humans are involved in the driving? Robocar’s development team thinks so. Zero race fatalities isn’t such a bad bit of progress, right? Each car will start off with matching foundational hardware. Where the race fun begins is in the addition of custom software intent on amping up speeds. As with any self-driving car, sensors have a powerful role to play, and the Robocar includes six cameras, two radars and five lidars. Without a driver taking up precious room in the car, who knows what designers will come up with as they put the finishing touches on the Robocar? We just hope some race tracks pop up in Brampton and Mississauga, where taking in an E-race sounds like serious fun.   

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Categories: News, Electric Cars, Dodge Challenger Demon, Automotive Technology