Formula Pi lets you build your own self-driving racing car and put it in a race

If you’re waiting for the self-driving racing cars to roar in the racing ground (which is still a few years away), now you can simulate your own little robotic car for a Formula 1 race with the help of Raspberry Pi.

That’s right; some folks from Piborg are offering an exciting new race series to get people started with self-driving robotic cars. Aptly named Formula Pi, this is an opportunity for the coders and hackers to drive their own autonomous car in a centralized race. They have already started a Kickstarter campaign with a modest £2500 goal, which is already well within reach. All you have to do just download the autonomous racing code (which is on the Formula Pi site and GitHub), modify it, and then put it on a race against other Raspberry Pi-based racing cars.

“Formula Pi is an exciting new race series and club designed to get people started with self-driving robotics. The aim is to give people with little hardware or software experience a platform to get started and learn how autonomous vehicles work,” Formula Pi’s Kickstarter page says.

You can sign up for the race with £35. You’ll receive a customizable “lid” that will carry the car’s brain. Your assignment is to code the car to run the race as fast as possible while avoiding the competing cars. Multiple cars from all around the world will compete in a 20-meter track. The track features laser controlled finishing line and the car will run on Zeroborg motor platform.

“We provide the hardware and basic software to join the race series. Competitors can modify the software however they like, and come race day a prepared SD card with your software on it will be placed into our club robots and the race will begin!”

Well, this may not be as exciting as the original Formula 1 race, but it will be a big achievement for the winners and will act as a milestone for creating bigger and better autonomous racing cars.