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Self-driving car sets world speed record

Technology News |
By Rich Pell


On April 27, the car achieved a two-way average of 192.2 mph (309.3 km/h) over a flying kilometer (0.62 miles) on a space shuttle airstrip at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The previous record held by Roborace was 175.49 mph/282.42 kph.

The speed of 192.2 mph/309.3 kph was obtained as an average of over 1 km in two consecutive attempts in opposite directions. In a few days, says the team, they will attempt to replicate the feat on the Atlanta circuit, this time on a race track and not on a straight.

“We saw what the future holds for autonomous vehicles and credit goes to the entire PoliMOVE team, especially Dr. Brandon Dixon of the University of Alabama,” says Prof. Sergio Savaresi, team lead of Politecnico di Milano. “We were running a car operating on algorithms alone, where precision is paramount, and any small prediction error could have created a completely different outcome. This test run was exhilarating, and we are thrilled with the world record, but we’re also excited by the fact that this data will be made available to all, and the industry will benefit from our work and learnings.”

PoliMOVE is part of the Politecnico research group mOve, led by Savaresi, which has been studying for 20 years automatic controls in all types of land vehicles. In January, the PoliMOVE team won the Indy Autonomous Challenge in Las Vegas, the first head-to-head race between cars driven by artificial intelligence, where PoliMOVE reached the track speed record of 172.9 mph/278.4 kph.

The competitors included teams from some of the best universities in the world. All the teams raced with the same vehicle, the Dallara AV-21, with the added value being the work of the individual teams.


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