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Roborace - Driverless Formula E support series


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#101 scheivlak

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 21:25

 

It is not a motor sport in the real sense of the word

Maybe this is motor sport in the real sense of the word. While "our" motor sport might be called 'human assisted motor sport',  'assisted device hybrid motor sport' or something like that  :D



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#102 D.M.N.

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 22:41

(Robotic?) twitter account - https://twitter.com/Roboracing

Official website - http://roborace.com/

github account - https://github.com/roborace/roborace

 

The latter is interesting as it means that some code will be open source.



#103 Otaku

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 22:46

I thought F1 was already almost driverless  :mad:  :mad:



#104 Volcano70

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 23:03

Don't know what to think of this.



#105 warp

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 23:16

From a spectacle point of view it would be unsafe to be anywhere near it if it were allowed to be a true engineering competition.

 

Indeed. At the start. Pretty much like in motorsport.

 

But as engineers develop more and more the AI, it will be interesting to see how cars take decisions that affect their race.

Sporting/Racing Rules could be built into software (think the rules in "Robocop" or "I, robot") and it will be interesting to see how cars manage their strategy or racing incidents/situations with conflicting requirements between finish ahead of the rest and losing positions or risking suffering a handicapping incident.

 

I'd sure like for them to give it a go. 

 

Programmers will need the input of professional drivers and strategists while they build the AI and it learns how to race.

Probably that will teach a lesson or two to racing drivers down the line. Who knows?



#106 ardbeg

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 23:19

This topic certainly split the board.

I am 100% for, but I assume that the top speed will be very low and the cars will look a bit like bumper cars so have them run the same tracks as the FE might not be so exciting. One can go to the kitchen and make coffee when leader go out on the S/F straight and be back well in time for T1.

 

Anyway, will be interesting and certainly good for many laughs. 



#107 Radoye

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 23:44

Maybe this is motor sport in the real sense of the word. While "our" motor sport might be called 'human assisted motor sport',  'assisted device hybrid motor sport' or something like that  :D

 

I was talking about the TORCS Racing Board that was mentioned earlier - sim racing between various programmed AIs. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TORCS

 

http://www.berniw.org/trb/

 

http://www.berniw.or...?vieweventid=20



#108 BullHead

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 00:18

Briefly raised earlier, marshalling is a question here. Will they even bother marshall it? Like computers can't have a 'duty of care' in their observation can they?

In all seriousness, if I was a trackside marshall, I'd withdraw my services for the roborace. (Stupid name)


Edited by BullHead, 28 November 2015 - 00:20.


#109 noikeee

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 01:14

I think this is a great idea that had to be done sooner or later, BUT it will almost certainly be extremely boring to watch. I think a support series for a main event that is futuristic in itself is fitting - this robotic series would never ever be able to headline an event, but it could thrive as this interesting geeky side-show.



#110 Grayson

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 01:31

When did auto racing attract all these geeks #!@$@%$&@!~`?

 

By "all these geeks", do you mean some of the smartest people around pushing new technology to its limits?

 

Motor racing attracted those kinds of geeks at some point in the 1800s when it first started to be developed.



#111 OvDrone

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 02:25

****ing nerds.



#112 jonpollak

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 02:50

Me from future: I really like robodriver number 5 :love: but man, do I hate that robodriver 9 - what an asshole.


Egg Sack Leigh
I can never fathom cheering for machines.

No humans No interest.
Jp

#113 highdownforce

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 03:40

This whole project has a startup hipster like feel to it. Or it's something serious or tons of hot air. But I'll reserve my judgment for later.

Now I'm personally interested in two points:

A- People are saying they will tundle around the track in slow motion for a hour. Well, AFAIK nowhere it's said they'll use the same batteries of FE. That's a good thing on itself. Without a driver they can bolt more batteries with less of a compromise. This if they are able to deliver 20 race cars.

B- As someone has already said: software takes time to polish. They've said that they kind of have an API ready for teams to build ou plug their own systems on top of it. I mean... Less then a year for an ambiotious project like this.

Edited by highdownforce, 28 November 2015 - 03:41.


#114 Radoye

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 04:05

Egg Sack Leigh
I can never fathom cheering for machines.

No humans No interest.
Jp

 

As i said earlier, this will be no motorsport as we know it. Certainly, there will be no athletes involved - but then again, chess passes for a sport nowadays too.

 

It will however be a competition, and in this case the humans are the programmers behind the AIs which will compete on the racetrack.



#115 jonpollak

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 04:24

This whole project has a startup hipster like feel to it.



As i said earlier, this will be no motorsport as we know it. Certainly, there will be no athletes involved - but then again, chess passes for a sport nowadays too.

It will however be a competition, and in this case the humans are the programmers behind the AIs which will compete on the racetrack.


thrilling....
A series for the soulless.

Don't we already have this code wars **** in F1?

Jp

#116 Radoye

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 05:52

thrilling....
A series for the soulless.

Don't we already have this code wars **** in F1?

Jp

 

Hm, i never considered myself soulless, but i must admit i am intrigued to see this happen.

 

My curiosity is not motivated by the same thing that makes me wake up at the odd times of night over weekends to watch "real" racing (or other sports), and i don't believe this can ever replace "real" racing.

 

Nevertheless, i am curious to see this, on a whole different level.



#117 prty

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 06:14

I work on autonomous driving so find this idea really exciting :)

By the way it's not only Google and Tesla, but also Bosch, Daimler, Apple, Delphi, Mobileye, Baidu, Continental, Audi, Nvidia... who are working on it. So good opportunity as a showcase.

I'd say that with the right sensors in the car, it's definitely already possible to race.

Edited by prty, 28 November 2015 - 06:18.


#118 Beamer

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 08:09

In fairness I just watched about 10 laps of WTCC

Nothing can be worse than that?

This must be the most valuable contribution to this discussion....

#119 thegamer23

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 09:20

12308294_897202580365438_128989166693216

From Roborace twitter, how the cars could look like



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#120 ExFlagMan

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 09:45

All of the competitors will be writing software. Trust me, I speak from experience: no matter how smart and how good the people are as devs, sorting out all the glitches in a massive piece of software is going to take a long. long. long. long. time.

But Red Bull will offer to 'parachute in' their own 'software experts' to sort it all out in no time at all...



#121 ExFlagMan

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 09:57

There could be a useful spin off for F1.

The will have to arrange a fail-safe way of slowing/stopping  the cars following any inevitable incidents, so once it is perfected there would be no excuse for it not to applied to F1.

 

They might even come up with a workable solution for detecting and penalising Track Limits violations.


Edited by ExFlagMan, 28 November 2015 - 10:00.


#122 SlipLtd

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 09:57

Been there, done that. Chad Knaus has been winning races and championships with a robot at the wheel for years now.

#123 highdownforce

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 10:36

12308294_897202580365438_128989166693216

From Roborace twitter, how the cars could look like


I've seen this picture on pitpass a while back. I think at least one year already.

Kind of meh... I was expecting something less human:

car-3_o.jpg

I work on autonomous driving so find this idea really exciting :)

By the way it's not only Google and Tesla, but also Bosch, Daimler, Apple, Delphi, Mobileye, Baidu, Continental, Audi, Nvidia... who are working on it. So good opportunity as a showcase.

I'd say that with the right sensors in the car, it's definitely already possible to race.

Good to see we have someone with expertise.
I'm kind of curious about the NVidia technology, I've seen demonstrations of that for a while. At the same time I didn't knew that Continental was at it too.
Good to know that this whole thing is already feasible.
I hope the sensors are non standard.

#124 chipmcdonald

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 17:25

Indeed. At the start. Pretty much like in motorsport.

 

But as engineers develop more and more the AI, it will be interesting to see how cars take decisions that affect their race.

 

 

 An A.I. can control a car going 300 mph around Lowe's hairpin, the timing nuance in "racing" A.I.s would neither be visible nor comprehensible.

 

 You would again have to restrict and limit it to make it visually entertaining.  Otherwise - you may as well just "race" in a simulation.



#125 BRG

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 17:45

Yamaha's is so much more interesting...
yamaha-robot-motobot.jpg

  Roborossi   :clap:


Edited by BRG, 28 November 2015 - 17:46.


#126 SpartanChas

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 19:53

What's the podium ceremony going to be like?



#127 screamingV16

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 20:32

The idea of robotraces leaves me cold and sounds like a very niche interest. Whilst I can accept F1 and other internal combustion engine racing are becoming somewhat anachronistic, I reckon that FE and robotracing will struggle to ever achieve the popularity and succes that F1, Nascar, Cart, Rallying have in the past and 'motorsport' will probably become a insignificant minority interest.



#128 PAGATRON

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 20:39

I thought this was some fun off-season April Fool's type thread but looks serious.

Is this like Robot Wars but with racing cars?

marchmontpenny2.jpg



#129 Kalmake

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 22:06

Robot Wars is like RC racing. No actual robots since they are human controlled.



#130 maximilian

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 23:59

ED_Design_Torq-driverless-racing_car.png



#131 maximilian

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 00:09


 

They might even come up with a workable solution for detecting and penalising Track Limits violations.

 

FE already has the perfect track limits violations detection system: cars hit the wall.  Consequences for mistakes in racing are a beautiful thing.



#132 Spillage

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 00:38

It's a weird idea. You can't really appreciate the bravery of a late-braking move if the move is being made by a robot. In any case, the inter-driver rivalries are what makes motorsport so great. Until RoboNico throws a cap at RoboLewis it won't have my interest as anything beyond a technical project.



#133 imaginesix

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 06:01

Seeing how well they can develop a car to go around corners will be interesting since they will not be limited by the human body with respect to g-forces.

Plus safety is no longer a concern. Run off area? Just erect a concrete wall and let them loose!



#134 ExFlagMan

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 06:34

Plus safety is no longer a concern. Run off area? Just erect a concrete wall and let them loose!

Only if you believe that the safety envelope only extends to the drivers!



#135 fZero

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:09

This sounds great.

 

I do wonder however if they will ruin it like they ruined FE with another stupid idea like Fan Boost.



#136 RPM40

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:23

This might became the star of the show. It certainly will be more interesting than FE.


At least we'll get A class AI, not B class drivers

#137 404KF2

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:29

Those robot "drivers" might have more interesting personalities than F-1 drivers, these days....



#138 imaginesix

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:57



Only if you believe that the safety envelope only extends to the drivers!

Right, *driver and marshall* safety, specifically. They're the only ones that are ever used as an excuse to slow the cars down. Bring back full skirts, active aero, suspension, differentials, and brakes. Let 'em fly. That would make it a much better show too.

 

The big problem with the concept right now is that they're basing the AVs on electric cars, so all the current restrictions are replaced by the performance restrictions of EVs, meaning speed, range, handling. It also furthers the confusion people already have between EVs and AVs, thinking they are somehow related. But AV race cars really should be gas powered, so their performance envelope can be truly pushed.



#139 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 08:49

Benda is yet to be invented.

Really what a STUPID idea. 

Worse what happens when driverless car goes rampant and ends up in the crowd ?

Formula E is a joke. This will be just a farce.



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#140 ExFlagMan

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 08:54

Right, *driver and marshall* safety, specifically. They're the only ones that are ever used as an excuse to slow the cars down. Bring back full skirts, active aero, suspension, differentials, and brakes. Let 'em fly. That would make it a much better show too.

 

 

Looks like you have not thought the safety side of things through properly - The clue is in the bolded bit.

 

Probably not going to help motorsport in general if one of these cars ends up in the spectator area.  The faster they go the further they fly when something goes wrong.

 

Having spent my whole working life in the software industry I figure that initially the software on these cars will be pretty bug-ridden.  From experience even the most mature software contains numerous bugs and these are usually concentrated in the edges of the performance envelope of the system.

 

Should be interesting but I am not sure I would want to be trackside...



#141 Lights

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 09:14

This sounds great.

 

I do wonder however if they will ruin it like they ruined FE with another stupid idea like Fan Boost.

 

Haven't you heard? You will be able to vote for your favorite robot.



#142 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 11:27

Roboraces will be fascinating. What a superb support race concept.

 

:up:

 

Having seen robo football, I just KNOW that this will be mindboggingly hilarious
 



#143 BRG

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 20:02

FE already has the perfect track limits violations detection system: cars hit the wall.  Consequences for mistakes in racing are a beautiful thing.

Oh yes?  How about Trulli cutting the chicane in Moscow three times with no penalty, and no wall either.  ANd nearly everyone else cutting the first corner chicane at most other tracks.  Unpenalised track limits violation is alive and well and living in FE.

 

But presumably roboracers will not do it as their algorithms won't allow them to exceed track limits.



#144 imaginesix

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 23:44

Looks like you have not thought the safety side of things through properly - The clue is in the bolded bit.

 

Probably not going to help motorsport in general if one of these cars ends up in the spectator area.  The faster they go the further they fly when something goes wrong.

 

Having spent my whole working life in the software industry I figure that initially the software on these cars will be pretty bug-ridden.  From experience even the most mature software contains numerous bugs and these are usually concentrated in the edges of the performance envelope of the system.

 

Should be interesting but I am not sure I would want to be trackside...

Put a cage over the track, silly.



#145 chipmcdonald

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 00:06

It would probably be a weekend project for some software engineers to get an F1 car around at present speeds, you're just solving for X.

 

Unless they're allowed to crash another car, it's an academic exercise, effectively not a whole lot different than watching A.I. cars drive in a videogame.



#146 BlinkyMcSquinty

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:58

I work on autonomous driving so find this idea really exciting :)

By the way it's not only Google and Tesla, but also Bosch, Daimler, Apple, Delphi, Mobileye, Baidu, Continental, Audi, Nvidia... who are working on it. So good opportunity as a showcase.

I'd say that with the right sensors in the car, it's definitely already possible to race.

 

I fully agree, right now there is enough to put a car on a well-defined track and learn the fast line. It's a start, because dealing with the unknowns such as moving trackside obstacles, weather, and operating outside of a defined boundary is when it gets tough. But it's a start, in a desperate hope to attract tech companies interested in this stuff to get involved.

 

Safety will be a big concern, no human can be allowed anywhere near such vehicles when they are underway. And the sides of the track would require massive and tall fencing to contain any unknown problems.

 

IMO this is a competition between teams of software engineers, as exciting as learning which is the better web browser. I respect their hard work, but for thrills and excitement, I'll watch competition between humans.

 



#147 scolbourne

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 05:32

There is no need for driverless cars to be slow.

 

 

Already most people are amazed by how fast they can go, getting every corner near perfect. Avoiding other cars is where the difficulty will be. I expect lots of crashes at least initilaly.

Safety for the spectators will be much the same as now. I would definetely not have human marshals on track unless all cars have been temporarily slowed/stopped.

Would also be good to have ic driverless car races. With no drivers, speeds can be higher so will be more spectacular for the fans.



#148 beqa16v

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 06:03

I think the idea is really great. Its not meant to substitute F1 people, just a support series for formula E. They should put manikins in there and stick their hands to the wheel to have the impression of real driving :D



#149 maximilian

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 17:08

This touches on a much bigger subject:  driving, and the future of driving.  Or rather, the lack thereof.

 

Calling the F1 title the "World Drivers Championship" is actually nonsense, because as we all well know, it's never about who is actually the best driver, but much more about who happens to be sitting in the right car at the right time, often with no one but their own team mate as the only real competition - stratification along team lines has been super common in F1.  As such, it's not really about determining who the best "driver" is.  It is at least equally, and I would argue MORE, an engineering competition.

 

As technology advances, engineering takes over more and more of the drivers' functions, increasing the percentage of engineering influence on the results.  Who ever has the best "gadget" on their car that season wins - until the rest can copy what they did, or the rules are changed.

 

Manufacturers are keen to have "road relevance" in racing.  Well... we are on a very obvious path of being almost entirely driverless in no less than 10 years, perhaps even less.  By that I don't mean the total elimination of manual driving, but it is not unrealistic to expect all new cars coming out in about that time span to actually be capable of driving from A to B without any driver input, and a vast majority of "drivers" will take advantage of these features, so they can text in the car again.

 

What is road relevant, then?  Definitely a racing series that considers this very obvious direction in automotive technology - cars that drive themselves.  And here we have it.

 

I have long held the view that "in the future", there should/would be two different main championships... one that significantly limits the influence of technology and returns to a much simpler vehicle that is being driven by people with minimal assistance from the machine, and a true road-relevant engineering championship that goes driverless and simply determines who can build the best CAR.  At least, in some respect, this is how it SHOULD be, given how technology has advanced.

 

So the racing purists among you "should" get behind a retro-tech series that actually promotes racing at grassroots levels where things are about WHO can drive a vehicle the fastest, and the techies among you should be delighted with a series that pulls all the latest tricks when it comes to relevant current technology.  Right now, Formula 1 is neither - and it could be why it has been losing appeal.

 

As such I enthusiastically welcome the Roborace idea, and am looking forward to watching what happens! :up:


Edited by maximilian, 01 December 2015 - 17:09.


#150 maximilian

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 17:14

As for marshalling... without drivers, why would it even be necessary?  The machines can be programmed in such a way that they automatically slow down and follow a safe line in recovery zones and/or avoid colliding with whatever is laying around on the road.  The VSC is basically built into the system and could be activated at the push of a button by race control, if needed.  I guess in theory we still need people to collect pieces and strap a carcass to the crane, but since there is no actual danger to "drivers" I can also see a lot less need to actually remove stricken cars from the track - the AI should instead adapt to an additional obstacle on the course and avoid it (within reason - of course there will be some wrecks that are in super inconvenient locations, but many could just be left where they are).  Very much road relevant technology.