If you have followed the story of PoliMOVE, you already know that our self-driving racing car team has been collecting one record after another. If you haven't yet heard about it, put briefly, a new sport has appeared in the world over the past two years: self-driving motor racing.
It is still in its infancy and Italy plays a fundamental role: both because the leading team is from the Politecnico di Milano; and because the cars used, modified for autonomous driving, the same for all teams, are Dallara AV-21, made by the famous car manufacturer founded by Politecnico Alumnus Gianpaolo Dallara. The peculiarity of this championship, featuring the best research teams in the world, is that the cars race without a driver: they are driven by an artificial intelligence.
PoliMOVE, the team of researchers from the Polytechnic and led by Prof. Sergio Savaresi, has created the best artificial racing driver in the world. They call it As.car.i.
On 23 October 2021, it narrowly missed gold in the final of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, though still winning the speed record in the championship:252 km/h. Then, on 7 January this year, as part of the CES, the rematch saw the Politecnico di Milano win a victory that papers around the world have described as “historic”: : during the first head-to-head in the history of humanity between two self-driving cars, As.car.i. took first place and the new track speed record for an artificial intelligence: 278.4 km/h.
Up to that moment, , the absolute speed record for an autonomous vehicle was still held by Roborace:282.4 km/h (March 2019).
On 27 April, PoliMOVE took As.Car.i to the Space Shuttle landing strip at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, where there are no holds barred and the Dallara whizzes by at full speed, taking the world record for a fully autonomous car on a straight, with 309.3 km/h..
The Politecnico Team had already achieved the record on 26 April, but decided to raise the bar and seize the opportunity to improve its performance even further. On 27 April, As.car.i beat its own record to reach an incredible speed of 309.3 km/h, smashing through the “wall” of 300 km/h set as the target. The speed of 309.3 km/h was obtained as an average over 1 km in two consecutive attempts in opposite directions (to eliminate the effects of the wind), with a top speed of 311.9 km/h. “309.3 kmph = 192.2 mph (two-ways average, average over 1 km); 310.4 kmph = 192.8 mph (two-ways average, average over 100 m); 311.9 kmph = 193.8 mph (top speed). The previous record was held by Roborace since 2019 (282.4 kmph = 175.5 mph, two-ways average, average over 100 m)”, explains Savaresi.
Credits header/home: Courtesy from Polimove