A self-driving race car had a considerable malfunction before it even passed the starting line at the world’s first autonomous racing series.
The prospect of autonomous vehicles appears to be becoming a reality as technological advances continue to be made. However, the first live broadcast of Roborace at Thruxton Circuit in Andover, UK, showed that some caution should be taken before trusting the capabilities of autonomous machines. Four of the six teams that took part in the race failed to finish the three-lap competition, and one had a significant accident.
A Swiss team that released its Acronis SIT Autonomous on the track quickly raced into issues. Before even crossing the starting line, the vehicle seemingly gave up and turned until it hit a wall. The surprising – and slightly funny – footage can be seen in a video from the Roborace event.
Roborace is the world first driver-less/autonomous motorsports category.
This is one of their first live-broadcasted events.
This was the second run.
It drove straight into a wall. pic.twitter.com/ss5R2YVRi3
— Ryan (@dogryan100) October 29, 2020
Somewhat valiantly, the team actually sent out the vehicle again after the crash, but it once again went offtrack, although in a less dramatic fashion.
The cause of the crash has been attributed to a malfunction during the course’s installation into the machine. The vehicle essentially copies a drive a human has completed previously, but it seems in this instance the data was transferred incorrectly.
Fortunately, because of the nature of the event, no one was hurt in any of the crashes or slips off the track. The team may, however, have been a bit disappointed at the performance of a vehicle that has undoubtedly required a lot of time and effort to build.
This comical incident may serve as a reminder that self-driving vehicles may need more tweaking before they become commonplace on the road. On the other hand, people may begin watching the Roborace Series Beta, as there seem to be plenty of accidents to see.
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