Autonomous Race Car Slams Right into Wall Seconds after Starting Test Lap

The computer truly said no.
Fabienne Lang
Roborace crashRoborace/Twitch

Roborace team SIT Acronis Autonomous suffered a "computer says no" moment on Thursday when its race car drove straight into a wall, mere seconds after it had started driving. If you're familiar with the Little Britain T.V. show, you'll understand the meaning of "computer says no." And it couldn't be more true for this moment. Luckily no one was hurt.

But, you live and you learn, and this is one of the ways people working in robotics learn how to improve their systems. 

SEE ALSO: DAIMLER AND WAYMO PARTNER UP TO BRING AUTONOMOUS DRIVING TO SEMI-TRUCKS

Autonomous racing

The mishap happened during Roborace's Season Beta 1.1 race, which hosts self-driving cars competing to win their top spot. 

There's still no news as to why the crash happened, as it looks like there were no issues with the track, and the car was only driving through a gentle curve without any other cars near it, per the Drive.

This type of mishap is bound to happen when autonomous systems take charge, and shows how much more effort needs to be placed on developing iron-clad systems for autonomous vehicles. 

The Roborace series has a simple concept: every team has to develop its own autonomous driving system with the same electric drivetrains and chassis as the other teams. 

As mentioned, no one was injured and you can watch as the safety driver from the crashed race car stands by his vehicle in dismay, looking more irritated at it than anything else, like a father frustrated and a little embarrassed at his child's petulant public tantrum. 

In the end, it has to be said that it's a little funny watching an autonomous machine make an unpredictable error, and also shows how much more AI needs to be worked on before we can carry out driverless races left, right, and center. 

It's a fantastic and fun race series to watch, as it does ultimately show the prowess and advancements AI has made.

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