The Perfect Line of Code for Drivers

Written by orobulletin

From January 2023 issue car and driver.

There is only one question on the FAQ page on the Self Racing Cars (SRC) website. When he was invited to join the SRC group at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, he thought the same thing. why do i see that But the SRC event overlapped with his Velocity Invitational, so I headed over to Monterey to race the self-driving he race to see what line the car had in the corkscrew.

Back is the answer, at least for the Lexus CT brought to you by Point One Navigation. The red hatchback ran the course in reverse. “In our test he said the driver was faster than him,” says Daniel Gruver, Point One’s product director. Admittedly, the camera-equipped CT has eyes in the back of its head, and I don’t know how wrong it is to put Laguna’s famous hills, taillights, on its head first.

The SRC racing parts turned out to be a bit of a misnomer. Or, as SRC founder Joshua Schachter puts it, “ambitious.” Schachter organized the SRC as an engineering competition rather than a driving competition. This is an opportunity for developers and others working in the autonomous driving space to collaborate and test in areas without cross traffic. Some were self-piloted, some were remotely controlled, and some were driven by humans while collecting data for future projects. One of his SRC ‘racers’ was an engineer who enjoyed driving autonomously in his Porsche 911 GT3, but didn’t want to talk about why. “I’m not ready yet,” his companion told me.

As we often hear, most autonomy isn’t ready for roads or road courses.As NASCAR driver Ross Chastain did in October, self-driving cars are actively There is no place where you can run around the track, blocking to, making a split-second decision to skip the vertex and get on the wall. “Dynamic racing is tough to equip,” he says Gruber. “Humans are very good at this.” Most of his SRC His machines rely on human drivers to map the lines, and a combination of software and hardware to get the most out of that mapping. is the challenge. For point 1, the mapping is point 1. Because the company specializes in highly accurate navigation systems. An in-orbit test is a good way to see how well the program recognizes coordinates down to a few centimeters. “Usually his GPS accuracy is probably 3 meters for him,” Gruver says. That can put you 10 feet off the racing line, and Point One is working to keep the map within 3 cm of him.

Faction Technology CEO Ain McKendrick is working on a small driverless EV for use as a remote-controlled delivery vehicle. “Getting stuck in traffic to return a rental car at the airport or delivering DoorDash isn’t driving everyone’s excitement, plus robots don’t eat french fries,” he said. , some exotic hypercar companies have also expressed interest in his Faction technology. “In the case of a performance car, you can change the position in the garage, [better] get on track. With a digital car, the possibilities open up considerably. ”

A very analogue 1971 Mini Cooper stood just a few pit stalls away, all roofed with zip-tied cubes and cylinders. Tangram Vision’s Adam Rodnitzky uses his Mini (his own) as rolling his test bed to validate the company’s software. He stitches together information from roof-mounted sensors such as lidar, radar and 3D cameras into a map of the vehicle’s surroundings. Rodnitzky let me ride with him, and he admits that he enjoys these events as an excuse to get himself on the track. Many of his SRC participants are true driving enthusiasts, he says. “We know autonomy is coming. You can be bitter about it or figure out how to make it work with whatever you like.”

Self-racing cars may look boring, but the people who make them never are.

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