Development of Unmanned Vehicles using TORCS

Jerome Leary

This page contains everything you need to develop software for an unmanned racing car, based on a car racing simulation called TORCS (which is freeware). With basic knowledge of 'control theory' you can develop a fully automatic 'unmanned' racing car with automated steering, gearbox, clutch and brakes.  TORCS is licensed under the GPL ("Open Source") license and is free to use. It features a simple damage model, collisions, tire and wheel properties (springs, dampers, stiffness, ...), aerodynamics (ground effect, spoilers, ...) and 3D graphics. 

Each car is driven by a 'robot' which controls the car by obeying a set of rules which it will be given by your software. The rules are expressed as mathematical formulae. If the rules are wrong, the car's driving will be wrong. Driving is taken for granted by a human driver because they drive instinctively, but your software controlled car will only follow a set of mathematical formulae which you give it.

A multiplayer option allows student cars to race against each other in real-time. Range sensors on the cars can be used to avoid collisions and enable overtaking.

The objective is to design the 'optimal set of rules' and get the car to drive around a track safely and as fast as it can, without damage. 

Jerome Leary 20/8/15
How to get started
  • Install TORCS  torcs_1_3_6_setup.exe 
  • Install the server modifications (from University of Brighton server - NEW!). This file needs to be unzipped and the contents should replace the equivalent files in the above torcs folder.
  • This is an excellent manual
  • Install a free 'express' version of Visual Studio (if you haven't already got Visual Studio) from Microsoft at Express for Windows Desktop
  • Download C# code for an unmanned car  (author J.Leary) and unzip into a folder on the C: drive (for example C:\designs) - This shows a single gear change and acceleration so you can see how it interfaces with TORCS. It obviously needs to be modified to make the car drive properly.
  • Optional latest torcs.dll is available here -> torcs.dll

How to? Videos **NEW!**

Some useful tables from the manual:

Good stuff on building robot cars    - click  "torcs" and then "robot tutorial"
Basic control stuff for steering , trackposition and gears is here
Stuff that you dont need
This is a very simple console based UDP client what I wrote earlier but the windows version is prettier.

A test car is here (Download), just to see if Torcs is working.

Here is a previous students report

Jerome Leary

last updated 12th Feb 2014