For those who are unfamiliar, stock car racing is a now-outdated hobby in which people raced small electrically powered toy cars around track to which the cars were attached. The track layout dictated the lines of the vehicles, much in the same way that cable cars or trains work – along a fixed path. Though it was fun, there was only so much excitement to be had driving cars that had a set racing line. Well, now Hot Wheels has released their own version – a computer-driven “intelligent” stock car racing system. And it doesn’t rely upon any set lines.
Each starter set comes with two smart cars, two controllers, and over 16 feet worth of track pieces – which can be reconfigured into over 40 layouts – but can be expanded to accommodate more. The smart cars are powered wirelessly and each feature dual onboard “artificially intelligent” sensors which read the track over 200 times per second. These help keep the cars from continuing to drive after running off the track and can control rival vehicles for one-player racing. The system also incorporates virtual hazards like oil slicks into the system, which can be deployed at the push of a controller button to disrupt other racers. This clever AI-driven stock car system is selling now for just $77.