The development team at iRacing has confirmed via their official member forums that the simulation will receive a single player AI mode. This is a very surprising development since iRacing is a very serious online-focused subscription-based title.
“Ok, this will be a “shocker” to some. We are working on AI/Artificial cars and in fact very far down the road with the project. In fact, we should release it this year as well", stated a representative at iRacing.com. “Hardcore folks take a deep breath. We are not straying even the slightest from our philosophy of trying to create the most accurate and detailed simulation we can along with the best head to head racing competition. This has been an isolated project being done by a small team and has not impacted any other development.”
The development team is hoping that the new AI mode will entice newcomers to the subscription-based service thanks to the ability to get some practice against AI opponents before jumping into the more serious business of online racing.
The single-player AI mode will be available for free to members. The development team has stated that they have made improvements to the multiplayer net code and player car code while developing the AI opponents. All of these new features and improvements are expected to launch at the same time.
iRacing has revealed some details on the upcoming AI mode: “Right now our plan is [to] roll out options of one-off AI races along with a season-long “career” in which you can build your own schedule/series. We have other plans as well down the road to increase the fun factor in regard AI. We likely will roll out AI for a large chunk of the racing including oval and road. Some cars and types of racing might be held back initially because of all the different variables we need to work out. For example joker laps and going over the jumps for GRC. There are many other things like that which we are working on now. The web development side of this is also significant and still much work to do there before we can roll it out. There will be a “difficulty” choice or “slider” option.”
Let us know in the comments if you welcome the upcoming AI mode, we'll have more on this story as it develops.