“Look, Ma! No Hands!”: A Driverless Drag Race [Video]

When the curtains came down on the recently concluded Nyaribo Time Trial competition, I was left with an empty track and three cars to play with. What to do? Quite obvious:

Organize a drag race.

It’s not the kind of drag you expect, it did have a tweak, the tweak being the drivers were OUTSIDE the cars. The cars ran by themselves for the most part. Here, have a garner:

The real idea behind this was, as track master for Time Trial Motorsports, I had to pick up my cones after the event with the help of the folks you see there. I quickly discovered that it was much faster to round up the little plastic markers if I let the car run slowly by itself as I jogged alongside collecting my assets, a maneuver called “ghost riding”. This is fairly easy to do in an automatic, snick the lever into Drive, down with the parking brake and hop out of the car. You just have to be careful when stepping in and out of the car as it’s moving lest you break your teeth.

(ALSO DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IF THINGS DON’T GO WELL FOR YOU AS THEY DID FOR ME)

After I was done with the cones, the others noticed what I was doing and hey presto! A driverless drag race was soon under way.

The observations here are interesting. The Mazda Demio DE (same green one we reviewed first week of 2017) is equipped with a CVT while the Toyota Corolla 110 sports a 5-speed manual gearbox. They both have 1500cc 4-cylinder petrol engines, but as you may observe (or hear my gruff voice proclaim), the Corolla is just a little bit faster than the Mazda.

If you have any solid explanation as to why (besides the fairly obvious gear ratio argument), please drop your words in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on ““Look, Ma! No Hands!”: A Driverless Drag Race [Video]

  1. Hahahaha

    First let me take you back to the to the 1500s when Galileo went to the leaning tower of Pisa to test out his theories.
    He discovered that what we know today as gravity actually acted on all objects in the same manner.But he also noticed as much as its effects were same on all objects lighter objects dropped from the same height with a lil setback which was air resistance acting on them thus slowing them down.

    Fast Forward 2017 the Year of the Lawd, JM Baraza does the same test only this time objects are not really falling to the ground they are rolling on it.
    Apart from give obvious give away like friction on both cars, and so on, these are the two explanations as to why it was the Toyota was faster πŸ™‚

    1. The Demio had doors open : and at some point both doors were open. This, as absurd as it may seem created a wider surface area which the much wind that i would hear on your camera was blowing against hence the Demio got slow
    Recommendation : do the race again with doors and windows closed

    which really yields to my second explanation

    2. During the Tower of Pisa test, the same air resistance that acted on the lighter objects slowing them down… the same air resistance was acting against the lightest of the two objects (Demio) hence slowing it down. A heavier object would run through the wind easily πŸ™‚

    Recommendation ; do the race again on a so not windy day

  2. 1500cc is not a measurement of power. Plus the only similar thing those cars have is the engine displacement.

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