Robocar Challenges Tesla to a Race after Its Fastest Lap Claim

The company behind the fully autonomous driverless car throws its hat in the ring. Will Tesla accept this challenge?

Soon after Tesla declared that its Model S prototype broke the four-door record at Laguna Seca, Roborace has challenged Tesla to a race. 

Roborace is the company behind the world's first fully autonomous electric vehicles competition. The cars are powered with NVIDIA DRIVE autonomous vehicle computing technology. 

In the last two years, we've covered Roborace at its first-ever car race, at CES 2018 and when it challenged Formula Drift pro driver Ryan Tuerck to a race in May 2018, which resulted in Tuerck winning the challenge. 


But now, Robocar has challenged Tesla, just days after it claimed the fastest lap for a four-door. It seems that it challenged Tesla's Elon Musk a mere hour or so after he posted about the record. 

This comes in the heels of Tesla doing its test run and announcing that it will be at Nürburgring too, just a week after the Porsche Taycan had its world premiere.

As of this writing, there is no official response from Musk or Tesla to the challenge.


Roborace, the company behind driverless autonomous racing, is headed by Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi, who has been involved with the project since December 2015. In a TEDx talk, he has stated that he believes the future will be all about autonomous vehicles. With Roborace, he's bringing autonomous vehicles to motorsports and racing competitions. 

Recently, Robocar was inducted into the Guinness World Records as the fastest autonomous car in the entire world but had already set the record back in March.


To claim the title, "the car completed two runs at Elvington Airfield in York, which were averaged to produce an official top speed of 282.42kph," according to the Mirror

However, as CNET notes, it's not so fast when compared to Bugatti and the base-model Porsche 911. Both can have speeds of "304 mph (489.241 kph), and 187 mph (300.947 kph)" respectively.

Where's the catch? Both cars had drivers behind their wheels, and Roborace's cars don't. It'll be interesting to find out how the Tesla Model S will compete with these statistics. 

Tesla vs. Robocar

"The driverless vehicle built by Roborace features four electric motors that produce 500 horsepower collectively and operate at 135 kW, giving the car a top speed of 199 mph. The car utilizes a variety of sensors to move effectively, such as GPS systems, LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors and machine vision cameras that pick up and assess the car’s surroundings," Teslarati notes.


"In comparison, the Tesla Model S operates a Dual Motor AWD with a 100 kWh battery pack and 518 horsepower, and not to mention, would have a human controlling the vehicle." 

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, the Robocar became the first autonomous car to complete the event's hill climb, "a 1.16-mile [1.8 km] course with a twisting, steady uphill grade, climbing nearly vertical 500 feet [152.4m]."  The car that was used then had "four 135kW electric motors power each wheel for a combined 500-plus horsepower." 

So, who do you think will be the winner? If Tesla accepts, it will be exciting to see what the race will entail, where it might be held, and what the results will be. 

(H/T to Teslarati)

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