If you’re kid at school, deciding what your future should be, or could be, then I encourage you to watch this video. The video highlights the inaugural season of Roborace, an entirely new division of racing, where the rockstars are the developers that program the cars, and there’s no drivers in sight.
The way it works is the Devbot2.0 platform are cars provided by Roborace. Each race consists of virtual drivers (the programming done by the developers) which are uploaded to the vehicle. This means the same car will behave very differently, depending on who’s code is running on it.
The cars are all 100% electric and they are full autonomous. That means the stakes are high, in the worst case, you not only loose the race, but destroy the devbot.
Not only do the programmers need to teach the vehicle how to navigate multiple tracks, but the game is all about optimising for the best time. This category is no time trial though, with multiple cars on the track, racing at the same time. This means the car needs to deal with a complex array of moving obstacles.
In the latest video, just released by Roborace, they highlight the different venues that races will take place on. From proving grounds to smart cities to hill climbs, with races also taking place in day and night time conditions.
As the photo above shows, the vehicles also need to have the technology on-board to understand their environment. Something like the starting lights is done in a traditional, visual way, so the cars need to use computer vision to understand when a light is red and then changes to signify the start of the race.
Powered by 4 electric motors, Devbot 2.0 can actually fit a person in, this is to set a human benchmark for developers to beat, it’s an amazing new category that I can’t wait to watch.
To the creators of Roborace, all I can say is, please bring this to Australia. We know Bathurst is one of the most challenging tracks in the world and if you want to test the best of the best, that’s the track to do it on.