The sleek, low-slung driverless Roborace car was on display in New York City for the Formula E races this weekend, but it was the workhorse DevBot that took to the track. You can recognize DevBot by its bubble-like cockpit, where a human sits ready to take the wheel if the autonomous car needs a literal hand.
Given Formula E‘s one-day structure, with qualifying sessions early in the day and the race in the afternoon, Roborace is able to take advantage of the empty track in the middle of the day for demonstrations of its artificial intelligence system on wheels. DevBot did a practice run early Saturday morning, then spent an hour taking laps in front of the crowd in the afternoon.
DevBot has an array of sensors plus advanced GPS for navigating the track, which is not preprogrammed into the car’s computers. It reads the track and learns the route as it goes, which means DevBot drives much more slowly than the Formula E cars. An in-car camera behind the driver’s shoulder was…