Robocars Rule Book

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1. General Information

The ultimate goal of the DEEP BERLIN Robocars challenge is to gather enthusiastic teams about autonomous driving, that will leverage software and hardware to build an autonomous robocar to then compete in a final race. The goal of the robocar itself is that it must achieve a behaviour that emulates safe real-life driving conditions as close as possible.

  • A developer resources section can be found in deep-berlin/robocars, with examples and source code that can be used to get started with a robocar.
  • Each team will have equal access to the official race track for data collection and testing.
  • The organisers can help ‘solo participants’ to find a team or team members to participate with.
  • Any questions about the organisation of the challenge can be sent to, specifying your team name if you’re already registered.

2. About the Model Cars (robocars)

Examples of a robocar

Based on the ‘donkey car‘ Magnet or HSP 94186 models (see more details here), this is the most common DIY robocar.

Robocar Specifications
  • The robocar must not leave the ground during the race(flying is not allowed); any number of wheels is allowed.
  • Dimensions: the robocars are required to not exceed a size of 60x40cm, to be able to drive on the track accurately.
  • Each team can have no more than one car for the competition.

3. Robocars Provided by the Organisers

We have a limited number of robocars (based on the ‘donkey car’ model) available for talented teams that do not have one of its own. When filling in the challenge registration, the teams have to specify whether they need a robocar from the organisers. Subsequently, the team will receive a second form that will assess the team members’ familiarity with certain programming and deep learning tools.

The teams that apply for a model robocar and do not get the opportunity to receive one (e.g. there’s a limited number available), will be contacted by the organisers and receive the full list of components that they would need to assemble a donkey car and where to get them. Alternatively, we encourage teaming up with other people who may have a robocar or are eager to participate and build one.

Important notes:

  • The models will be leased exclusively for the duration of the challenge, and therefore they will have to be returned to the organisers after the final race.
  • Teams who received a donkey car in 2018 and are eager to participate in 2019, must apply to the challenge to be able to keep the donkey car. If any of these teams will not participate, the donkey car must be returned to the organisers. 

4. Meetups & Testing

  • DEEP BERLIN organises and hosts the official AI for Autonomous Mobility meetup every month, together with its partners.
  • The meetup events are an opportunity to exchange ideas and progress with other teams. For more information and updates on the event dates, times, and speakers, join the meetup group here. Since the meetup is hosted by different partners, the official track will not be available at every location.
  • The participating teams will have access to the official race track during designated Track Days starting from July to one week before the race.
  • We encourage participants to collect and make available the data from the track for participants who are not able to attend a meetup. Participants can join the Slack space where most of the AI for Autonomous Mobility and previous challenge community is active.

5. The Final Race

The Challenge

The ultimate goal of the challenge is to leverage software and hardware to make a robocar drive autonomously, with a behaviour that emulates safe real-life driving conditions as close as possible.  

The final race will take place on August 27th, 2019 at THE DRIVERY.

  • Qualification Race Rules:
  1. All teams must complete a round of 5 laps
  2. The only parameter that can be adjusted during a round is the speed of the Robocar. This can be done only once per round, before starting a new lap
  3. The teams have 5 minutes to complete the round
  4. The time starts by starting the first lap and ends after 5 minutes or 5 laps
  5. The best lap time counts
  6. The 5 teams with the best lap time will be selected to go to the final round.
  • Final Race Rules:
  1. The 5 finalist teams must complete a race of 2 rounds
  2. Each round consists of 5 laps
  3. The only parameter adjustments that can be adjusted during a round is the speed of the Robocar. This can be done once per round, before starting a new lap
  4. Between the 2 rounds, teams have a “half-time” where further parameter adjustments of the Robocar are allowed
  5. The Teams have the possibility of changing the direction at the start of each round
  6. The teams have 10 minutes to complete both rounds including the half-time
  7. The time starts by starting the first lap of the first round and ends after 10 minutes or 10 laps
  8. The best lap time counts
  • General Race Rules:
  1. The team gets to choose the starting direction for each round.
  2. If a robocar leaves the track with all tires and comes back into the track, there will be a penalty of 2 seconds
  3. If a robocar partially leaves the track while driving, with at least one tire remaining on the track, there will be a penalty of 1 second
  4. If a robocar gets stuck or completely leaves the track without coming back, the lap will count as failed. The team can continue the remaining laps of the round
  5. If a robocar didn’t leave the track, neither touched any of the lines delimiting the track during one lap, a bonus of 2 seconds will be given to this lap
  6. The referees are responsible for measuring the lap times in an automated and transparent manner, with immediate exposure of the results.
  7. The referees must ensure a “fair play” and can disqualify teams with Robocars that not follows the main challenge purpose: a behaviour that emulates safe real-life driving conditions as close as possible


  • From the final round, based on the best lap times, it will result in a first, second, and third place winners.
  • Additional prizes will be awarded to “Best Design”, and “Self-Driving Legend”.

6. Code of Conduct

As organisers, we would like to see a good spirit and motivation to not only build your own robocar, but also to be open to share ideas and engage in discussions with other teams. We expect a respectful attitude towards the spaces provided by Hella Aglaia and our partner The Drivery.