Autonomous Roborace Car Tries, And Fails, To Beat A Human Around A Track

Whether you like it or not, and despite incidents that show they are not ready just yet, autonomous vehicles are coming – and that includes self-driving race cars.

While we find it hard to believe that autonomous racing will take off like many tech-heads imagine, Roborace continues to test and develop its DevBot before a self-driving race series joins the Formula E calendar.

DevBot’s newest challenge saw it competing against professional drifter Ryan Tuerck on a flying lap around a street circuit in Rome.

Following a series of warm-up laps to familiarize himself with the DevBot, Tuerck was able to set a best time of 1:51.8 around the circuit. When Tuerck jumped out and the electric racer was left to its own devices, it recorded a best time of 2:18.4, more than 26 seconds slower than its human counterpart.

Can’t beat a human – not right now

This isn’t the first time an autonomous racer has failed to show us humans how to quickly lap a race circuit.

Last year, Yamaha’s Motobot racing superbike was supposed to be quicker than Valentino Rossi. In the works since 2015, the self-riding bike ended up being roughly 30 seconds slower than the most prolific rider in MotoGP history.

It’s not just speed that these autonomous racers are lacking. If you remove the driver from a race car or race bike, you lose the entire battle of humans going head-to-head for supremacy behind the wheel, which in turn diminishes public interest.

  • Jay

    “Autonomous cars are better at driving”.. riiighhhhht..

    • ace_9

      According to my experience, even trained monkeys are better at driving. The important thing is that this applies only to around 50 % of drivers (mostly woman and people above 45). Otherwise it is of course stupid and the technology for making autonomous cars better on common roads than good experienced driver is VERY far in the future.

    • DAVID THOMPSON

      You will regret that sooner than later

    • Knotmyrealname

      It will come.

  • salamOOn

    i think its pretty hard to assume your speed (on the track) only by visual aspect and without the engine sound and gears.
    So kudos to him for beating that robosh*t.

    • ace_9

      No, it’s not that difficult. Actually, it is probably easier. “Gas” pedal almost precisely sets the car’s speed, no need to worry about optimal engine speed or shifting gears. My experience comes only from comparing gas and electric carts. But from people having electric cars I heard, that they are much easier to drive and in fact after longer time they have difficulties driving normal cars smoothly, because it is more difficult.

  • Six_Tymes

    “HA HA”

  • brn

    The machine was definitely playing it safe.