LeMons says no driver, no problem

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!

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