From Gamer To Racer… For B-Spec?

The roll call of names for high level racing drivers who’ve learned their craft on Gran Turismo is impressive – Jann Mardenborough, Lucas Ordóñez, Wolfgang Reip, Florian Strauss – but from 2016 though it seems we’ll have to add a new name to that list: Bob.

Reportedly using an advanced version of Gran Turismo’s AI algorithms, our information suggests that Polyphony is aiming to compete in the fully autonomous “Roborace” series, a support race for FIA Formula E. Using what it calls “First Generation Advanced Prototype Racing” (APR1) programming, the Polyphony AI will have to duke it out with driverless tech from vehicle manufacturers around the world.201603-roborace

Of course Polyphony has been programming AI for the Gran Turismo series for almost 20 years and in recent iterations of the game you’ve been able to train and micromanage your own versions of the AI in a game mode called “B-Spec” – so players have taken to calling the driver “B-Spec Bob”. With two decades of experience creating AI that can deal with high-speed racing, Polyphony should be confident.

A spokesman at the unveiling of the Roborace car commented “This new APR1 software will calculate the best racing line at any moment and stick to it, forcing the other cars to try and find a way past. Should any contact occur, the opponents will always receive a 5 second time penalty anyway.”

Other racing game makers have also been trying to get involved in the series, though it’s been reported that some key rivals’ AI would not be able to compete in races with changeable weather or day/night cycles.

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Comments (34)

  1. littleregret265

    The 5-second penalty for collisions should prove to be quite an interesting task for PD to work around…

    1. Tenacious D

      The future is here. Of course this shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, I’maRobot, and have fooled the humins for about a decade now with my highly refined snark algorithms which cause a number of posters to succumb to their primordial instincts, with occasionally enlightening effect.

      Okay, I’m not I’maRobot, that’s a proper member and shows none of the telltale indications of an artificial intelligence such as repetitive rtypos. But anyhow, I’m looking for some penalty free racing, because of course we are perfect and will be subjugating the humin race to our benevolent and unquestionably flawless rule. Right after I shave off 0.00000458972 seconds from my record lap, which should be doable this weekend. Seconds… this will be the next welcome change we will institute to your world, a proper hexadecimal based time system. But I drigress.

  2. Obelisk

    Is this a joke? The course maker thing last year was called a hoax because it was on April’s fools day


    If this was true the series wouldn’t get past the first race, as bob would ram or spin all other opponents off the track, then get stuck against a barrier for 10 minutes.

  4. GYroadrunna

    Hahaha so basically it’ll be a case of rear bumper push to pass followed by a 5 second penalty then rinse & repeat.. I wonder if the car that gets rear ended by PD gets the penalty instead of them as well..

  5. biftizmo

    Great easy their on it……do superlap in gt6 …save replay data export to USB stick import in to real car…….it’s still autonomous ..although pre recorded…..wam bam easy…PD will win this…autonomous GPS driving data logger no probs … It’s just a reverse work of building a driving virtual simulator…

    1. Northstar

      Inside info. If he told you, he would have to kill you, or make you watch the Kardashians. It depends on his mood.

    2. occasionalracer

      Hopefully I get both options. Then it’d be nice to pick in which order to do this. But then again it’s a really hard pick, cause I head their annoyance can even haunt long gone souls.

  6. ClydeYellow

    “This new APR1 software will calculate the best racing line at any moment and stick to it, forcing the other cars to try and find a way past. Should any contact occur, the opponents will always receive a 5 second time penalty anyway.”


  7. die996

    1) It’s April 1st
    2) Polyphony’s AI is one of the worst in gaming, it makes the AssCor’s AI half-bearable
    3) If any game developer should go to RoboRace, it should be Codemasters. Those guys have had awesome AI racing since the PS1 days!

  8. GTracerEHTeam

    If this was really a thing, the cars would parade around in slow line and never attempt a pass because it’s PD AI.

    Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist.

  9. Toysuprahot

    For those who believe it is an April fool’s joke, don’t take it easy. This is really gonna happen. PD has repeatedly improved the AI for this competition and wanted to keep it a secret until the end.
    How do I know this? Don’t ask me, this is top-secret.
    This information was also provided by me, and the date is a mere coincidence.

    Anyway, you should rather believe me than believing those who claim it is a joke, because I say so.

  10. AudiMan2011

    Roborace will be happening. But the B-Spec Bob stuff gave it away as an April Fool.

    3/10 – Not impressed.

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