“The plan to build a new car was created two years ago. However, we postponed the construction because for the last two years, the change in the rules and homologation of the International Automobile Federation FIA for the Dakar was still being dealt with. The final wording of the rules was not known until this summer. It was only on this basis that we implemented the last changes to the project and only started building the car. That’s a delay of at least half a year against the worst option we had. But we will drive with this car in January,” Buggyra boss Martin Koloc is convinced.

The Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing team uses the latest trends – including virtual reality and artificial intelligence – during the complicated development of the truck, which was also delayed by the organizers’ procrastination with new rules, as well as construction work.

“Artificial intelligence is involved in the optimization. We use CFD (Computational Flight Dynamics) calculations for air flow, weight distribution and body shape. We are trying to preserve the Tatra DNA, even though it will be a ‘snout’ car. We think this will be a major performance shift. We expect testing from this year’s Dakar, and we will start building the second car in February right after the evaluation of Dakar 2024,” Koloc describes the development of the new special.

Buggyra team chief designer David Vršecký admitted that the novelty in the form of AI brought him a new perspective on the construction of a racing car. “One must learn to use artificial intelligence correctly. The input is important. Our data is specific and very complex. And only with the right input can a good result come.”

“Design a Tatra truck to survive the Dakar Rally…”

That’s why Vršecký laughingly rejects the idea that he will just sit down at the computer, a nice AI will say “Design a Tatra truck so that it survives the Dakar Rally” and it will be done.

“It can lead you down the wrong path. I consider artificial intelligence more like a friend who can give me advice. Kind of like a better Google. It also depends on what data the AI ​​has. There are newer online libraries that he can draw from,” explains the racer and constructor in one person. Naturally, all ideas that a system solving complex tasks comes up with must first be verified by the design team.

Foto: Buggyra

The Buggyra team has been competing in the Dakar with Tatra trucks regularly since 2014.

“But it has to start somehow. He can help us advise on the choice of material. Or perhaps to calculate a lot of complex things that we don’t need to delay. We must always have the main idea. AI can show us a new direction in which to direct our thoughts,” adds David Vršecký.

In addition to artificial intelligence, Vršecký also uses Gravity Sketch software for virtual reality (VR). Thanks to it, the designer can imagine the proposed truck using VR glasses, as if it were standing in front of him. “The graphic artist drew the outer cover of the truck. Looking at a truck in 1:1 scale is definitely better than a 3D model. He is a bit illusory. This way you can walk around the car and crawl through it even in those angles where something is shading you in 3D,” reveals Vršecký.

The Dakar starts on January 5

Even thanks to innovations and the use of new trends, Buggyra believes that the new Tatra will be ready on time and will make it to the January start of the Dakar Rally. “It’s a huge greaser. The problems are mainly with deliveries from external companies. After covid, the conditions have not significantly improved due to the current tense situation, and we are waiting months for some parts or materials instead of weeks,” explains Buggyry’s chief designer.

Foto: Buggyra

Buggyra will fight on several fronts at the Dakar this year, Aliyahh Koloc will drive the special REVO T1+ in the class of the fastest.

The 46th edition of the Dakar Rally starts on January 5 next year and ends on January 19. For the fifth time in history, it will go to the territory of Saudi Arabia, there are 12 stages on the program.

The Buggyra ZM Racing team will not only be represented in the truck category, the debut in the elite class of Ultimate racing cars (formerly T1+) awaits Aliyahh Koloc in the special Red-Lined REVO T1+. After her debut this January at the famous competition in the special T3 class, she will be the only woman to compete with such cross-country rally stars as Nasser Al-Attiyah, Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb.