'Anki Drive' AI-Based Slot Car Racing Game Gains New Cars and Tracks

Anki today announced the debut of two new cars and two new tracks for its iPhone-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Joining the existing four cars are Hadion and Corax, new characters that focus on speed and weaponry, respectively.

ankicars
Designed by Anki and Hollywood legend Harald Belker, Corax and Hadion are the newest characters available for Anki DRIVE. Hadion is built for speed and is the only car that can access Turbo Boost, which enables you to fly incredibly fast down the track. Corax is the ultimate warrior, with the option to mount multiple weapons. Watch out, he's an aggressive one!
First introduced in 2013 during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Anki Drive is a unique racing game that Anki describes as a "video game in the real world." Similar to slot car racing, Anki Drive incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and smartphone-based controls, allowing two players to shoot at one another while their cars autonomously race down a vinyl track.

Each of Anki's cars have their own unique name, personality, look, and statistics. While some of them offer greater acceleration speeds, others have more energy or better weaponry. The two released today expand on the abilities of the existing cars, offering Turbo Boost (Hadrion) and multiple mounted weapons (Corax).

Along with the new cars, Anki is also introducing two new tracks: Crossroads and Bottleneck. Crossroads offers hard corners and a challenging intersection that requires solid timing and maneuvering skills, while Bottleneck introduces a bottleneck shape that must be overcome.

crossroadstrack
There's also a brand new Race Mode in the Anki Drive app, which joins the existing Battle Mode. Weaponry is still available and the goal is to make it to the finish line first, beating out other players or AI-controlled cars.

Anki's new cars can both be purchased today from the Anki website for $69.99 each, and the new tracks will be available on May 6 for $99. The original Anki starter kit can also be purchased from the Anki website for $199.

The accompanying Anki Drive app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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9 months ago
Why is everybody so pessimistic? :confused: It's pretty cool technology and just a bit of fun. Stop being so miserable. :p
Rating: 7 Votes
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9 months ago
These forums are strange. You'd think they would be visited by people who actually interested by innovative applications of technology like Bluetooth, artificial intelligence and emerging wireless game platforms.

What you get instead is a bunch of luddites who, from an apparent lack of disposable income, feel the need to make disparaging comments on an internet forum. Not only that, they'd rather not see the company that innovated succeed by charging for more than a cast-iron toy car made in China...

Please...


Hot wheels + video game = crazy expensive toy cars whose only value is that they can act out a racing game that's lacking in content (if you dish out $680, you get 3 tracks and 6 cars. I can't think of any other racing game that has so little content nor any other game that costs even 1/8th of that price. Heck, there are very few toys that cost half of that).


If you watched the keynote and/or actually read this MR article, Anki incorporates some very advanced AI and machine learning concepts which are pushing the envelopes and even the understanding of what constitutes a "video game." This is nothing like a mechanized hot wheels track, at all.
Rating: 6 Votes
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9 months ago

Rating: 4 Votes
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9 months ago

I think the one thing people are not saying, is the price. It sure it's creative and cool. But I'm sorry it is not $69 or $200, cool. Try to sell it for $50-$100 for the entire kit maybe people will actually buy in.


You have a point, but boy do MacRumours' members love to moan. So negative all the time, it's depressing. Cheer up, guys. :D
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago

Maybe it's just me but I don't see a market for this. The technology is cool and impressive indeed but only so many adults wanting to geek out over iOS will want to buy this.


Why does it need anything more than that?

No one is expecting this to be in every house. You may as well tell Wacom not to bother, since most people won't want a tablet input device.

As long as they make more money than they spend, and people get a chance to buy and enjoy the product, what's the problem?

Kids has hot wheels already and don't need a phone to begin to dictate their imagination. If kids wanna slowly race, I'd imagine they already have a video game system and mountains of toys nearby.


I'm not aware of anything about this product that precludes using other toys and apps.

Not interested in this, just like how I got over it seconds after seeing it introduced during the keynote.


And there it is. Instead of just being content with not wanting it yourself, you seem compelled to tell everyone else why no one should want it. :rolleyes:

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$69 for a car? Wow, I could buy like FOUR Tyco slot car kits for that, in 1985.

How is that even an argument?

How many AI-powered cars could you buy in 1985?

I mean, hell, an iPhone for $399? I could buy SIX Panasonic cordless phones in 1988 for that!
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago

True techie loves to build things on their own, they rather not having somebody else build their toys for them.

Rubbish. There's all kinds. Quite trying to redefine words centered around yourself.

If you'd like to see your son play with something that's "actually" going to challenge him to write program and think logically. I'd actually recommend Lego Mindstorm (if money isn't a issue), or simply spend $100 to get the Arduino board plus everything else you need.

Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
Maybe it's just me but I don't see a market for this. The technology is cool and impressive indeed but only so many adults wanting to geek out over iOS will want to buy this. Kids has hot wheels already and don't need a phone to begin to dictate their imagination. If kids wanna slowly race, I'd imagine they already have a video game system and mountains of toys nearby.

Not interested in this, just like how I got over it seconds after seeing it introduced during the keynote.
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago
$69 for a car? Wow, I could buy like FOUR Tyco slot car kits for that, in 1985.
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago
This seems a lot like a hybrid car - you took two things that worked fine alone and merged them together to make something that inherited the flaws of both with little to show for it.

Gas engine + electric engine = ... the sum of the parts. You have the underwhelming power of a small electric engine with the inconveniences of maintaining a gas engine.

Hot wheels + video game = crazy expensive toy cars whose only value is that they can act out a racing game that's lacking in content (if you dish out $680, you get 3 tracks and 6 cars. I can't think of any other racing game that has so little content nor any other game that costs even 1/8th of that price. Heck, there are very few toys that cost half of that).
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago

...It sure it's creative and cool. But I'm sorry it is not $69 or $200, cool to me...


Fixed that for you.

Seriously, if you don't know how much is going into these things, then you don't really have room to complain. If the price doesn't fit your needs, fine.

I knew some guys when I was in high school that did RC racing with some seriously custom, gas powered cars. They would put in a couple of hours prep time before each race, plus probably $10 in gas. Then, if there was a wreck, which it seemed like happened in 2 out of 3 races, they'd have $100+ in repair work! plus the hours of repair time to get their cars back into racing form, and that didn't include the times that they simply decided to scrap their cars for parts and buy a new $300+ car.

You can pretty quickly find a lot of examples of spending a lot of money for something that doesn't seem worth it to you (don't even get me started on how much guys I knew in college were spending every week on beer), but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth it to someone else.

Personally, I think that this is a pretty cool union of computer and RC tech. I'd rather see my son playing with this than playing a video game.
Rating: 1 Votes
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