Remote-Controlled Racing League Puts Real Cars On Track

Motorsport / 6 Comments

You can race real sports cars from your sofa.

If you've always wanted to compete in motorsports but don't quite have the stomach for actually getting behind the wheel and flirting with disaster, a company called Avicar is spearheading a racing league that combines real, remote-controlled race cars with drivers who can pilot them from anywhere using remote reality. Remote-controlled operation of real cars has been dabbled in before, but racing them from thousands of miles away at high speeds is something else altogether.

This forward-thinking form of motorsport is being driven by Remote Reality technology, which differs from virtual reality and augmented reality as the participants will actually be controlling real sports cars in real time. It's essentially the opposite of the M Mixed Reality driving experience that BMW offered customers in its new M2, whereby you drive a real car while wearing a set of virtual reality goggles that places you in a unique digital world. Here, you don't sit inside an actual car, but the race track itself is very much real.


Remote Reality continues the trend of merging the physical and digital worlds, and the aim is to build up to the Cloud Prix Championship Season 1, which starts in Miami in December. By then, Avicar plans to have identified 11 top drivers with the aid of its R&D facility. Selected drivers will gain access to what's known as an Angel Key, which will give them access to Avicar Gen0 sports cars along with other membership benefits. Participants will receive a unique race club number which is authenticated on the blockchain and can later be sold or traded as a piece of digital art.

Avicar says that its technology uses "microsecond real-time reactivity and tactile response that comes as close to being in the driver's seat without having to leave home."

Most onlookers will be interested in these "zero-seat" cars more than anything else. These will be electric sports cars that are developed together with Siemens Advanta in North America. They'll be able to surpass 100 mph, but because they're controlled remotely, they won't need doors, windows, or seats.

Without needing to accommodate an actual human being, these cars could theoretically end up being incredibly light and aerodynamically efficient, as can be seen in the low, sleek design. Avicar says the Gen0 cars have a remote range of over 4,000 miles - this applies to how far away the driver is, not how far the car can go without its battery being charged.

The cars come with built-in 360-degree cameras that will provide a live video feed directly to the driver's headset, while the Gravity Drive Steering synchronizes hand-tracking controls with the physical vehicle. High-speed Wi-Fi, 5G connectivity (which is rapidly making its way into modern vehicles), or satellite can all be used to control the vehicle remotely.

While crashing one of these $1.1 million Gen0 cars won't pose any physical risk, the pressure will still be on the first batch of drivers to convince the world not only of their driving skills, but that a remote-controlled motorsport league like this one could take off.


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