[ExI] Driverless racecars

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Feb 15 05:46:40 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: [ExI] Driverless racecars


>…Even more fun will be robot motorcycle racing, considering that racing bikes only weigh about 300 pounds, so if we get rid of about 140 pounds of rider and about half of the aero drag, that bike will go like all hell.  I would pay money for tickets to see that.  This could revive the sport… spike


Maybe it will look a little like this:







I’m not kidding, this sport would be a total hoot.  A bunch of bikes out there with nobody aboard, and you could afford to take crazy risks with them.  A dirt tracker doesn’t really need a high-tech expensive engine.  That sport is all about rider skill.  A bike costing 5k is good enough to compete at the state level.  Hospital bills are expensive and human bodies are irreplaceable, but we could ride these robo-bikes right on the edge.  

Right the riders are so good, the optimal strategies have converged, they all look alike, or at least all the top riders do.  But with robo-bikes, all the engineering still needs to develop, and the best strategies are not known.  We don’t even know the optimal lines on the track if we get rid of a third of the weight and nearly half the aerodrag.  The gearing would need to change for higher top speeds and to take advantage of higher accelerations available.  Now instead of individuals, you would have university teams doing the software, big sponsors and clever privateers all racing together.  The usual jocks along with professors, software companies (you know Google will want in on this) all the usual suspects along with wimpy geeks who never rode a motorcycle, all could play.  This will be a mechanical engineer’s playground.

I have gotten to where I think about the ethics of motorcycle racing.  I know I am paying guys to do risky sports and ja it does give me pause.  Football: we pay guys to wreck their brains by using their damn heads as battering rams.  Well I don’t buy football tickets, and aren’t I just such a righteous sort.  But I have been known to go to the local motorcycle races, and guys do wipe out sometimes, so that is the same principle, ja?  Maybe worse.  But I could watch robo-races with a clean conscience and have a hell of a good time.

You know this stuff is coming soon.  Oh my the next decade will be a fun time to be alive.




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