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LeMons says no driver, no problem

Hooniverse February 2, 2012 24 Hours of Lemons 16 Comments

How many penalty points for a newer GM?

We typically shy away from press releases, but this one was too good to leave alone.

Do you have an autonomous $500 car that you want to race? Jay Lamm announced today that you are now able to bring it to the LeMons races, with restrictions of course. Keep reading for all the info.

[Source: 24 Hours of LeMons | Image: Tartan Racing]

Jay Lamm made an unexpected announcement by allowing autonomous cars into LeMons. Adding to the list of awards the drivers are going after is the first to reward a non-driver. The “X Ceedingly Bad Idea Prize” will be given to the team that can complete the race driverless from start to finish. The award is set at a very reasonable one million nickles, which really is no small amount of change.

Below is the full announcement:

“X Ceedingly Bad Idea Prize” Announced for Autonomous LeMons Cars

Emeryville CA–In a bid to eliminate the typical team’s weakest link, 24 Hours of LeMons, Inexplicably Presented by Car and Driver will begin taking driverlessautonomous vehicles immediately. Defined as computer-controlled, self-piloting mobile platforms, “autonomous vehicles” (AV) are not to be confused with “terrible hoopties whose idiot drivers bail out” (THWIDBO), of which the series has plenty already. 

To accelerate the shift from human drivers to the better-smelling silicon variant, LeMons has also instituted the X Ceedingly Bad Idea Prize, an award of one million nickels to the race’s first AV winner. Before being allowed to compete, AVs must demonstrate safety and on-track performance on par with those of regular LeMons teams, including the ability to ignore yellow flags; stop dead in mid-corner for no reason; never find the racing line; and argue irrationally when called in for penalties. 

While AV equipment is exempt from the series’ $500 price cap, both Google and Carnegie-Mellon quickly announced they’d go after the Prize using new systems based on such LeMons-appropriate technologies as wooden legs, Atari Pong consoles, GM Cross-Fire Injection, and string. Humans wearing C3PO costumes are ineligible. 

Next AV Racing Opportunities  

New Jersey: New Jersey Motorsports Park, 14-15 April (apply by Feb 4th)

Michigan: Gingerman Raceway, 21-22 April (apply by Feb 11th)

New Hampshire: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 5-6 May (apply by Feb 25th)  

Go to www.24HoursofLeMons.com or www.CarandDriver.com/LeMons   

Now, it’s up to you Hoons out there to rise above the hardships, and earn the prize. Show us how the hoopties of today can be the robotic cars of tomorrow!

Currently there are 16 comments on this article:

  1. dwegmull says:

    The arguing part is done:
    [youtube rR0Ofu0M53g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR0Ofu0M53g youtube]

  2. Kamil_K says:

    One of two scenarios:
    A. This is a joke and we just fell for it
    B. Or there is some intensive to further develop autonomous vehicle technology
    C. The LeMons overlords got wasted and dared each other to come with the most ridiculous addition.

    My money is on C.

  3. vwminispeedster says:

    Our car hasn't had a functioning brain behind the wheel yet. This was the next logical step.

  4. FuzzyPlushroom says:

    A million nickels.

    Well, then.

    If there was any doubt that this resulted from an evening in which much bathtub banana gin, err, bribe liquor was quaffed, well, that's it.

    First, 'a million' simply sounds silly. Second, that's fifty grand.

    Let that sink in. $50,000.

    Oh, and third, fifty grand in nickels, given a standard weight of five grams per nickel, is over six and a half tons of nickels. You'd need a medium-duty truck to get those comfortably home without splitting 'em up.

    On the bright side, a nickel apparently only has an approximate volume of 0.719 cubic centimeters, so a million – assuming they're rolled, and half of the space used in storing them is occupied by air and paper rolls – would fit neatly in under one and a half cubic meters, or a space well under three by three by six feet, far less than the volume of a pickup bed.

    Sure, you could get 'em home in your International RXT or GMC TopKick cartoonmobile.


  5. Sidney Morton says:

    That is something cool, but is it a little bit dangerous? I also heard of forklift also being controlled by machine. Good thing there's a perth forklift training though, at least I am secure that it will be handled safely.

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