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Watch Roborace’s self-driving racecar do a full-speed lap

Watch Roborace’s self-driving racecar do a full-speed lap


The development car finally hammers the throttle

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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.)

The next step for Roborace is to get the outrageous final production racecar up to speed. So far, that version has only puttered around one real street circuit.