Roborace is an effort to create a completely autonomous racing competition, one that will supposedly run alongside all-electric racing series Formula E. That’s an extremely ambitious challenge, but the company recently ticked off an important milestone: the development version of the car did a full-speed lap of the Formula E track in Berlin, Germany.
Over the last year and a half that we’ve known about Roborace, the company has been documenting the incremental progress being made in a highly polished docu-style videos. They’re are always a fun little window into where the company’s at in creating this self-driving series, but they’re also often light on video of the cars driving themselves. This video above is a nice break from that. In it, we get to see a full lap of the Berlin circuit from a camera placed inside the car’s cockpit.
The car’s lap was about 30 seconds slower than the ones from the Formula E drivers
The development car — which has crashed on tracks like this in the past — completes the lap in about 1 minute and 40 seconds. That’s less than 30 seconds off the pace that the Formula E drivers set during their race, which is pretty impressive. It handled the sharp turns deftly, if a bit slowly, and was definitely much easier on the brakes than its human counterparts.
The car reached a top speed of about 124 miles per hour, according to another video released by Roborace. That’s still shy of the 170-mile-per-hour mark set by the NIO EP9, which recently lapped the Circuit of the Americas in self-driving mode, or even the 149-mile-per-hour speed set by an autonomous Audi RS7 in 2015. (To be fair, though, both of those attempts were on full-sized race circuits, not a cramped street layout.)