Remember slot car tracks? I remember my Dukes of Hazzard set with the figure eight and overpass jump when I was a kid. Flash forward to 2013 and that’s old hat. Enter Anki Drive the modern equivalent with AI cars controlled with an Iphone. Anki Drive does away with the need for slotted track in favor of an encoded vinyl matt. The track allows for up to four cars to race at a time. They can be either Iphone/Ipad controlled or AI controlled. The cars are capable of autonomously navigating the track without colliding. Human control consists of managing speed and lane changes from an I-device.
The system is a wonder to watch with four cars running autonomously. The cars learn as they race and provide a greater challenge as time progresses. Racing isn’t the cars only skill though. The cars also sport virtual weapons that can be fired at other cars. During races points can be accumulated that are used to upgrade a cars abilities and weapons. Upgrades are permanent if you give your car to a friend they receive and can use the upgraded car.
I’ve embedded an overview of the cars below.
The $200 price tag is pretty steep. For that you get the track and two cars. Each additional car costs $70. The total for a four-car set would be $340. The idea looks like a lot of fun but the price seems steep. I think the virtual weapons and upgrades make for a lot of replay ability. However, the initial price is still pretty steep. Stilly if you have the spare cash you can’t beat the cool factor.