Self-driving cars have made their way to the raceway, but a Roborace in the UK took a wrong turn when one of the vehicles smashed right into a wall.
The Acronis SIT Autonomous, operated by a Swiss team, was gearing up for the race when the AI hit the accelerator and made an unexpected turn to the right – hitting the pit-lane barrier.
Six teams competed in a three-lap time-trial race with the self-driving, electric vehicles cruising through a mixed reality ‘metaverse.’
This system navigates the cars through virtual obstacles that crews must avoid or lose points, but Acronis SIT Autonomous smacked into a real object before even making it past the starting line.
The vehicle face planted into the cement blockade, smashing the front-end that holds the AI camera, LIDAR system and sensors that decide the direction of travel.
Self-driving cars have made their way to the raceway, but a Roborace in the UK took a wrong turn when one of the vehicles smashed right into a wall
‘That is not the start we wanted to see, guys,’ one of the commentators could be heard saying. ‘I’m kind of speechless after that,’ his partner said.
The event, called Season Beta, show cased six cars built with the same technology, but using different software, Car and Driver reports.
The Roborace was planned without spectators prior to the coronavirus pandemic, so race officials were hopeful the sport would take off as the pandemic still lingers in the UK.
Acronis SIT Autonomous is seen parked, but the accelerator appears to switch on and it takes a sharp right turn straight into the wall.
The Acronis SIT Autonomous, operated by a Swiss team, was gearing up for the race when the AI hit the accelerator and made an unexpected turn to the right – hitting the pit-lane barrier
According to Car and Driver, no one was hurt during the crash – just a few egos.
The Roborace was announced last month, which aimed to use AI and electric vehicles in a new way.
Ilya Shimchik, Team Principal of Acronis SIT Autonomous Team, said in an interview last month: ‘We are proud to push the limits of autonomous driving with its AI and machine learning solutions designed to produce extremely accurate calculated results.
‘Winning in Roborace often comes down to who has the best and latest technology, and we are confident that together with Acronis we have the world-class technologies we need to compete against the best in the world.’
However, before the team’s car was out of the race before it even started.
The incident highlights the hurdles autonomous vehicles still face, as many firms, specifically Telsa, are trying to make waves in the market.
The vehicle face planted into the cement blockade, smashing the front-end that holds the AI camera, LIDAR system and sensors that decide the direction of travel. Pictured is an image of the vehicle before the collision with the wall
The Elon-Musk owned firm recently rolled out its ‘Full Self-Driving’ system to a select number of customers, but the company has come under fire for the launch by experts in the field saying it’s pushing deceptive, irresponsible marketing.
A number of specialists have said the idea that this system could be self-driving could turn roads into danger zones as the firm’s website states ‘the currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.’
There is also a message that appears on the upgraded screen warning drivers that ‘it may do the wrong thing at the worst time.’
Waymo is another company working to unleash a fleet of autonomous vehicles and recently announced that it is opening its service to the general public.
However, when passengers step into the robo-taxis they will notice an empty driver seat.
The firm announced that it is removing back-up drivers behind the wheel to take over in sticky situations, will serve an area of 50 square miles.
There also will not be anyone watching remotely who can take over in an emergency and drive the car.
But if the Roborace has clearly shown the autonomous technology is still in its infancy.