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  Home >> GNC News >> 20161206
 
 Driverless 'Roborace' car makes street track debut in Marrakech
2016-12-06

 

(CNN) — It is a car kitted out with technology its developers boldly predict will transform our cities and change the way we live. The autonomous "DevBot #1" took a giant leap forward in Morocco recently, making its debut on a street track at the Formula E Marrakech ePrix. The battery-powered prototype is being tested for Roborace -- a proposed race series where driverless cars will compete on temporary city circuits. "It's the first time we've run the Devbot in driverless mode on a Formula E track in the middle of a city street," Roborace's Justin Cooke told CNN. "It's so exciting for the team who put hours and hours of work in. These guys were up to 1-2 a.m. in the morning developing a technology that no one else in the world is able to do at this speed and in these complicated environments."

   Using a variety of sensors -- including GPS, radar and ultrasonics -- allied to sophisticated computer programs, the car learns how to navigate a track at speed avoiding all obstacles. "What we are doing is at the forefront of technology right now," says Cooke, who is also CMO of Kinetik -- an investment company founded by Russian businessman Denis Sverdlov which is providing financial backing for the project. "There are two or three kinds of space races, if you will -- some people are going to Mars, we're developing robotic cars and I think it's probably one of the most, if not the most exciting space in the world right now." After the successful 30-minute test in Marrakech -- this year's host city for the United Nations climate change conference (COP22) -- Cooke say the company will next try racing two cars together on track with the eventual aim of having up to 10 cars competing at every Formula E ePrix weekend.

 

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