#RCCO24: 24-hour race at the Autostadt to kick off AI Challenge
05.11.2018 With a 24-hour race at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, the “big small” electric racing series RCCO will launch a challenge in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) culminating in an autonomous slot car.
The RCCO is the world’s most popular and longest-running slot car racing series. Since 1991, it has provided a link between personalities from real-world motorsport and the automotive industry and slot car racing. A 24-hour race to be held for the first time at the Autostadt from 16 to 18 November 2018 will be the highlight and crowning close of the season.
The “big small” racing series defines itself as a networking platform and innovation driver for hot topics such as electrification and automation. For the #VisionRCCO project, renowned companies designed concepts of electric sports cars. Six e-racers from ABT, Audi, KTM, Lamborghini, Schaeffler and Volkswagen will be on the grid of the 24-hour race in the Volkswagen Pavilion at the Autostadt. Some of the controllers will be operated by prominent racing drivers such as the two Le Mans winners and DTM Champions Frank Biela and Mike Rockenfeller.
The 26th running of what is arguably the craziest race in the world will also kick off the RCCO AI Challenge. The Challenge aims to pit an autonomous slot car against its human competitors in the 24-hour race at the Autostadt in 2019. Applications can be submitted by email to email@example.com as soon as the race has started at 12 noon (CET) on Saturday (17 November).
“There is a huge amount of motorsport enthusiasm in the region. After the magnificent record drive of the I.D. R Pikes Peak in the legendary hill climb race in Colorado, we are now looking forward to 24 exciting hours at the final of what is arguably the most important slot car series in the world,” says Roland Clement, CEO of Autostadt GmbH. “This is not only a great event for the fans. Interested engineers and AI specialists will be able to experience firsthand at the Autostadt what it takes to be an electric front runner and to develop ideas of how an autonomous slot car can successfully compete in the race.”
“With the RCCO AI Challenge we are addressing the automotive industry as well as technology-driven companies such as our long-standing partner Schaeffler, universities, plus experts and experimenters from other areas of Artificial Intelligence,” says RCCO founder Thomas Voigt, the managing director of the communications agency Speedpool in Hamburg. “Obviously, ghost cars for the Carrera track already exist, but our project is on a totally different level. At this time, none of us knows who will be stronger: humans or the machines.”
To enable the fielding of an autonomous slot car, RCCO is developing a new type of chassis that is constructed like a real-world electric vehicle and produced by partly using new production techniques such as carbon fiber 3D printing. The new electric racing cars will celebrate their world debut at the 24-hour race in 2019. At this year’s race, Autostadt visitors will receive an exclusive “sneak preview” of the new technology. On a second slot car race track, they will also have the opportunity to personally try their skills on the controller.
In 2019, in parallel to the 24-hour race of the slot racers, a virtual 24-hour race is planned in which e-sport racing drivers from around the world will compete against each other with virtual electric racing cars.
#RCCO24 timetable – 24-hour race at the Autostadt
11.00–15.00 Race for Autostadt visitors (minimum age: 10 years)
16.00–18.00 Free practice
18.30–22.30 Supersprint (RCCO championship round 10)
10.30 Drivers’ briefing
11.00–11.30 VIP race
11.30 Drivers’ presentation/starting grid formation
12.00 Finish/Podium ceremony
#RCCO24 live on YouTube
The 26th running of the “big small” 24-hour race will be broadcast live on the RCCO’s YouTube channel. At the following times, motorsport presenter Martin Kummerow (e.g. speaker for the World RX events at the Estering) will report live from the Autostadt:
16/11 20.00–20.15 Qualifying
17/11 11.30–12.15 Countdown/Start
17/11 18.00-18.15 The night begins
18/11 00.00–00.15 Midnight show
18/11 09.00-09.15 The final hours
18/11 11.45–12.15 The finish, prize-giving